Harriet Weissman of White Plains, NY, Heads Mount Holyoke College's National Fundraising Campaign

Tuesday, June 30, 1998 - 12:00pm
Immediate Release
June 30, 1998

South Hadley, MA--Harriet Weissman, a resident of White Plains, NY, and a 1958 alumna of Mount Holyoke College, will serve as cochair of The Campaign for Mount Holyoke, a $200 million comprehensive fundraising campaign that is scheduled to publicly kickoff this October.

Serving as cochair with Weissman will be Eleanor Claus of Omaha, Nebraska. As cochairs, Weissman and Claus will solicit major donors, assist in recruiting and motivating volunteers at all levels, and provide leadership at campaign events. The formal announcement of the campaign leaders was made at the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees' May meeting in South Hadley, MA.

Harriet Weissman
A current member of the College's Board of Trustees, Weissman has been a member of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum Advisory Board since 1988. Since these positions bring her to campus frequently, she has had the opportunity to meet current students at the women's college--and Weissman says they serve as the primary inspiration for her volunteerism and her willingness to serve as campaign cochair. "I feel privileged to be part of a team that will help maintain the preeminence of the College for the current generation of students and for those who will follow them," she said.

A devotee of the arts, Weissman's career and many volunteer activities are focused in this arena. She is director of the Museum Gallery of the White Plains Public Library, which she founded in 1974. In addition, Weissman is a member, and former chair and president of the board, of the Neuberger Museum of Art at the State University of New York at Purchase College, SUNY, and serves as an overseer of the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH. Prior to her current position as library gallery director, Weissman worked for Simon & Schuster's education division and was the assistant to the president of the education division of Affiliated Publishers. For her contribution to the arts in Westchester, she was the recipient of the 1997 Arts Award given by the Westchester Arts Council.

Mount Holyoke benefited from Weissman's interest in the arts and generosity when, she and her husband Paul dedicated a collection of works on paper by contemporary American women artists in memory of Professor Henry Rox. The collection traveled to six American museums as part of the College's sesquicentennial celebration.

Honorary Chairs Also Named
Honorary campaign cochairs were also named at the trustee meeting in May. Joining Weissman and Claus in heading the $200 million fundraising campaign will be Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein and longtime Mount Holyoke supporters Dorothy and Norman McCulloch of Rhode Island.

Mount Holyoke College
Founded in 1837, Mount Holyoke College--the oldest continuing institution of higher education for women in the nation--attracts a student body of approximately 2,000 from every state and more than fifty nations. During this past academic year, the private liberal arts school in western Massachusetts's Pioneer Valley claimed four national fellowships and scholarships, including the Truman, Goldwater and Fulbright awards; two USA TODAYAll-USA college academic team members; and a National Book Award for faculty member Joseph J. Ellis's biography on Thomas Jefferson. It also hosted a master class by Vanessa Redgrave in April.

The women's college's last major fundraising campaign was launched in 1986. Ending in 1991, the campaign raised $139 million for a master plan which created new structures around the campus. The upcoming campaign will strengthen the school's endowment.

Said Barbara M. Rossotti, chair of the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees, "We're looking forward again to a highly successful, ambitious campaign in support of the College. Our efforts in the years ahead will strengthen Mount Holyoke's ability to educate, enrich, and prepare young women for leadership positions in the world."