Miles Coon '02
“Sarah Lawrence educates each student as if he or she were its only student. Such a school deserves financial and personal support to continue to provide the very best education that one can get in America. What better way to support Sarah Lawrence, poetry, and the teaching of the craft?”
The time Miles Coon spent at Sarah Lawrence in the graduate writing program began when he was 61 and ended as he started collecting social security. That his early retirement years were much like early childhood—a time of discovery, wonder and joy, he says—is something he attributes to Thomas Lux, in whose classroom Coon learned about the magic of poetry and the translation of life into language on the page. When Lux stepped down as the director of the graduate program in poetry in 2002, Coon organized a committee of administrators, students, faculty and alumnae/i to create the Thomas Lux Scholarship Fund, an endowed scholarship honoring his teacher. With donations from the SLC community, as well as the larger poetry community, Coon’s effort raised more than $85,000, ensuring that a funded scholarship will be awarded each year—forever—to a Thomas Lux Scholar in poetry who plans to teach upon graduation.
Estha Weiner '72
“You try to join the other lives that you’ve had—college, actor, writer. What I get to do with Writers Night is converge worlds, and that’s been wonderful. You have very early loves that run deep and Sarah Lawrence is one of mine.”
When Estha Weiner put together the first Sarah Lawrence New York Writers Night five years ago, she was compelled by a primary factor: the abundance of talented, exceptional people in the Sarah Lawrence community. The reading series—which is held three times a year at either Teachers and Writers Collaborative or Poets House, where Lee Briccetti ’76 is executive director—features three to four alumnae/i readers in a specific genre, such as fiction, poetry, humor or travel writing. Occasionally, faculty will read as well, including Bella Brodzki ’72 and Eva Kollisch. One Writers Night focused on food writing and included a cooking demonstration hosted at Miss Mamie’s, a restaurant owned by Norma Darden ’61. Another night, Susie Haskins ’71, co-host of Theater Talk,the PBS show featuring top writers and performers, interviewed playwright David Lindsay-Abaire ’92.
As the host, Weiner, herself a poet, scholar and educator, is able to nurture her own love for Sarah Lawrence, while giving others the chance to connect deeply with their own college experience.
Jeffra Lyczko '94
"Last year, I went to SLC for reunion weekend — it was so refreshing to be back among a group of alumnae/i, faculty and administration who are all very smart, hardworking people interested in strong discourse. I realized how starved I was for that.”
As with many great ideas, the beginning was simple: Jeffra Lyczko cut and pasted 600 addresses into an e-mail and wrote to SLC alumnae/i living in the San Francisco area, asking if they were interested in connecting with one another. About 80 people were; the Yahoo Group for Bay Area-Sarah Lawrence Alumnae/i was born.
Lyczko, a native of upstate New York, moved to the West Coast after graduation and has been living there ever since.
A recent longing for her East Coast roots motivated her to initiate the Web-based community, enabling alumnae/i to post short bios, notify others of upcoming events or simply connect. Last year, the group held an event at the home of Zoe Keating ’93, where alums across a range of ages met, reminisced and spent time with others who would understand when they used the term “Sarah Lawrence” as an adjective.
Linda Rhodes '70
“Science is part of a multi-faceted life. The most fascinating thing is that when SLC alumnae/i come to talk to students, we see that no one has had what could be considered a ‘traditional’ career…As an Alumnae/i Board member, I am trying to get people excited and connected to the College through professional interests.”
Though not often moved to attend SLC-sponsored alumnae/i events, Linda Rhodes felt a strong connection to her alma mater. Dr. Rhodes, whose background is in molecular biology, clinical veterinary medicine and drug development, noticed that science-themed events were rare—and two years ago, she decided to do something about it. With support from the science faculty and the alumnae/i relations office, Rhodes organized the Science Career Roundtables, where two to three alums working in science fields—biologists, psychiatrists, public health officials, zookeepers—come together once a semester to talk informally about career paths and connect over similar interests. The enthusiastic response prompted Rhodes to add the Science Symposium, a semi-annual forum for alumnae/i with science interests to discuss topics like the genetics and sociology of obesity and the ethics of genetic testing. One aspect of Rhodes’ vision is to organize a network of alumnae/i to mentor students interested in pursuing science.