Class Notes & Profiles

Lovely in London

By Ellen Van Pelt Wells ’49

The Vassar classes of ’48 and ’49 have a tradition of working outside the envelope. But, at age 77, holding a class mini-reunion in London? Persis Gleason Laverack ’49, class president, Joan (Jay) Havelock Wheeler-Bennett ’49, a born-and-bred Londoner, and Marcia Scott Butterwick ’49, a Brit by dint of marriage, were the visionaries who assembled the complex pieces and helped bring 35 of us (including some husbands) to London in November 2005 for six fabulous days.

Highlights? Too many to mention! But for this writer: Evensong at St. Paul’s, two pub visits, the London Eye, and the rare books library at Eton were especially thrilling.

Our meals throughout the visit were a gourmet’s delight and helped put to rest and bury forever the reputation of British dinners as over-boiled cabbage!

Sara Offutt Hebblethwaite ’60, our Blue Badge Guide—the highest rank of British guides—and president of the Vassar Club of London, accompanied us on every tour and was there to join us at the final elegant dinner held at the University Women’s Club (where half of us stayed; the other half were at the nearby Naval Club). Sara charmed us all with her knowledge of London’s millennium of post-William the Conqueror history. Most especially, though, we were there to reune, united as reaffirmed Anglophiles and in our appreciation of what Vassar gave us nearly 60 years ago!

If you are interested in organizing a mini-reunion for your class, please contact Cathy Lunn, director of alumnae/i relations for programs at AAVC, at 845.437.5443 or