Ellie Claus '55 (left) and Harriet Weissman '58 will serve as national cochairs of the College's comprehensive fundraising campaign.
Accepting the challenge to help raise $200 million for the College, six alumnae will form the core of volunteer leadership for MHC's comprehensive fundraising campaign, scheduled to kickoff officially this fall. Heading the effort are MHC trustees Ellie Claus '55 and Harriet Weissman '58, who will serve as national cochairs. Dottie McCulloch '50 and her husband Norman "Sandy" McCulloch, both members of the Campaign Steering Committee, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein '71 have agreed to serve as the honorary cochairs. Dottie McCulloch chaired a major campaign for the College in thesixties.
The formal announcement of the national and honorary cochairs was made at the Board of Trustees' meeting onMay 8 and was greeted with celebration and enthusiasm. The comprehensive campaign will raise money for endowment, facilities, academic programs, and annual support through the Alumnae Fund.
In addition, Chair of the Board of Trustees Barbara Rossotti '61 will chair the Campaign Steering Committee, which works with the College and other volunteer leadership to set campaign policies, approves and monitors the campaign plan and progress, and sets direction for volunteer and staff activity related to meeting campaign goals. Trustee Mary Davis '65 will continue to lead the Trustee Development Committee, which provides overall direction for the College's development efforts. These individuals will serve as partners in creating an inclusive environment that will support the College's efforts to raise funds for the priorities identified in the Plan for 2003 and approved by the Board of Trustees.
The Cochairs in Profile As national cochairs, Claus and Weissman serve as the campaign's active leadership in implementing strategies and initiatives. Their responsibilities include soliciting major donors, assisting in recruiting and motivating volunteers at all levels, and serving as leaders at campaign events.
Eleanor Graham Claus has been active as a MHC volunteer for as long as she can remember. As a child, she served refreshments at many Mount Holyoke Club functions hosted by her mother, Emma D. Graham '22, in New Jersey. Later, she joined the MHC board from 1987 to 1992 and rejoined in 1994. In between, she received MHC's Sesquicentennial Alumnae Award and the Alumnae Medal of Honor. "The tradition of Mount Holyoke in my family and the value I place on a Mount Holyoke education" are two reasons given by Claus for her lifelong service to the College and her willingness to cochair the campaign. When she isn't working for MHC, Claus has enjoyed an active and distinguished career in health care management and teaching. She will retire in July from her position as the president for the Midwest Region of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the nation's largest not-for-profit health care systems.
Harriet L. Weissman has been a member of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum Advisory Board since 1988, and recently began her term on the Board of Trustees. Since these positions bring her to campus, she has had the opportunity to meet current MHC students--and they serve as the primary inspiration for her volunteerism and her willingness to serve as campaign cochair. "The students are the reason that one wants to work for the College. They are extraordinary young women. What better thing can one do than to promote the College for them and for the future," she noted.
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 of the board of the Neuberger Museum of Art at SUNY Purchase and serves as an overseer of the Strawbery Banke Museum. The College benefited from Weissman's interest in the arts and generosity when, in honor of MHC's sesquicentennial, 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 seven American museums as part of the College's sesquicentennial.