Alumnae Connections

on September 10 | in Alumnae Connections | by

Allison Taylor Hennessy “As a child, interior designer Allison Taylor Hennessy [’04] liked to arrange things,” reported (5/6/12). Hennessy turned that organizational and creative talent to good use. In May she was on the top-ten list of “New Trads” in Traditional Home magazine, chosen from hundreds of submissions. The owner of Allison Hennessy Interior Design in Manhattan’s West Village, she serves clients in New York and a number of other states, including Georgia, Connecticut, and Virginia. She has taken on a variety of projects, from redecorating entire houses to creating table scapes for special occasions, but she hopes in the near future “to design a space people seek out for relaxation and vacation. A real dream come true would be a beach resort or other destination.”



Music was the primary subject of the interview in (3/16/12) with Miriam Weeks Schulman ’74. The board chair of Jacaranda Music in Brentwood, California, she said that her exposure to music began when her mother played classical LP records, mostly romantic compositions, at full volume, when she was growing up in Georgia. “It wasn’t until college, however, that I truly fell in love with music,” she said, where she was exposed to the “the world of twentieth-century composers.” In addition to her love of music, Schulman mentioned a fondness for animals, particularly those that “people find less appealing”: “snakes, bats, and spiders, with lizards, octopi, and squid close behind.…I am particularly fascinated by the beleaguered invertebrates of the world.”



Alice Federico Hohenberg

Alice Hohenberg Federico, "Untitled," 2011 (detail). Courtesy of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2012-005. Gift of the artist.

Works by ceramic artist Alice Hohenberg Federico ’67 were exhibited in the Wilson Museum from May 31 through September 15. In The Wall Street Journal, Lance Esplund wrote about her work, which draws from a number of influences, ranging from ancient Greek vessels to English pottery: “Federico’s slender, stately ceramic vases…with wide lips, long necks and feet, and curved, swelling bellies, occupy that realm between functional and sculptural.” Federico created some new pieces just for the Hollins exhibition. Her talk, “The Rhythm of the Studio: Experience and Expression,” was one of the highlights of Reunion 2012. Federico made a generous gift of one of her vessels to the Wilson Museum’s permanent collection.



Sara Kathryn Loftus ’76 was honored in June by the Susan G. Komen Foundation as the 2012 Survivor of the Year. In a statement published as a “Survivor Story” on the foundation’s Web site, Loftus wrote that she is a five-year survivor and that the Komen Race in Washington, D.C., in June was the fourth one for which she organized a team, called “Molly’s Mob.” Participating in the race provides Loftus with “a way for me to talk about my disease with people who might not otherwise discuss breast health. Many women now see me and tell me when they are having their mammograms because I talk about the race and breast health so much. What a change from my pre-cancer days!”



Carillonneur Elizabeth Graves-Vitu ’80 launched the summer concert series at the Stanton Memorial Carillon at Iowa State University in May (, 5/29/12). Graves-Vitu, who majored in music with a carillon option designed just for her, is the carillonneur at the Cathedral Saint-Jean-Baptist in Perpignan, France. She has played concerts in Europe and the United States.



Mary Page Evans

Mary Page Evans, "Amherst Spring," 1997-98 (detail). Oil on linen. Courtesy of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University. Gift of the artist.

“In painting, we’re dictators,” Mary Page Hilliard Evans ’59 told (3/31/12). “It’s not about compromise. It’s about truth, though.” Evans’ interview took place during a major retrospective of her work at the Delaware Art Museum (March through July 15). The paintings—of landscapes and gardens, influenced, according to the article, by French impressionists, post-impressionists, and abstract impressionists—represent the artist’s work over the past forty years, paintings that Danielle Rice, the director of the museum, called “the best that Delaware has to offer.” Alumnae from the Philadelphia/Wilmington area attended a public lecture by Evans at the museum and gathered for lunch following her remarks.




In February, Jane Webb Smith ’73 became the first curator at Mount Clare, an eighteenth-century mansion, now a museum, in southwest Baltimore. Built by Charles Carroll, an influential figure in Maryland history, the house is jointly managed by the Colonial Dames of America and the nearby B&O Railroad Museum. To Webb, the curatorship is a dream come true. “I have wanted to run an eighteenth-century house since I was twenty years old, and a job like this just doesn’t fall off trees,” she said in an interview with the Baltimore Sun (2/19/12). Webb has had a long career working in the field of decorative arts. She looks forward to the challenge of working at Mount Clare, which houses, according to the article, “90 percent of its original furniture, silver, paintings, dishes, glassware, and other artifacts that belonged to the Carrolls.”

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