Class Notes & Profiles


In April, Liz Orton Davis '61 and Freda Coffing Tschumy '61 witnessed “the final moments of our tree.” Liz described how tree surgeons prepared the class tree by removing some of the lower branches—so that when it fell, it would not harm the flower bed or our new tree. Liz writes: “Once some cuts were made in the trunk, there was one good push by a backhoe (scoop shovel), and it fell with a loud crunch. At that very moment, the Chapel bells struck 10 o’clock. As Freda said, ‘It was like watching an execution!’ It was sad, but in truth the rot was in the very middle of the trunk.” Kathy Kleckley Tallman was also present for the ‘fell,’ and a bit later Phebe Townsend Banta stopped by. Freda made her selection of branches to be shipped to her studio in Florida, where she will make some molds. The tree was log cut to provide as much wood as possible for the bench, and according to Vassar Director of Grounds, Jeff Horst, that wood will be stored in one of the barns on campus. I did manage to get the cutting and fall on video tape so we have a record.” And keep in mind our wonderful addition to the campus with our very own artist-designed bench handcrafted from our centennial tree by one of our own class artists, Freda Coffing Tschumy. (When you have an opportunity to contribute to this wonderful project, please do so!)