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Board Minutes - June 2008

Marymount Alumnae Board Minutes

Minutes of the Marymount Alumnae Board Meeting
Saturday, 14 June 2008

The Meeting was called to order 11:07 a.m.

Opening prayer by Sr. Margaret Ellen Flannelly, RSHM, MC Alumnae Chaplain.

Melissa McCoy Garzione '84, President introduced the Alumnae Board of Directors, and commented that our future is tied to the Legacy Fund.  It is what keeps Marymount alive.

The Board of Directors inducted the new members and will continue to be very active and strong. 

Sr. Margaret Ellen Flannelly, Alumnae Chaplain – The position of Chaplain is new and supports the spiritual growth of Marymount's alumnae.  Sr. Margaret will support alumnae in times of need as well as keep the alumnae connected to the RSHM.  Sr. Margaret will say special prayers for our alumnae and their families in need.  She will also ask the Sisters at the convent to pray for them.  Sr. Margaret hopes to plan spiritual retreats in the future.  She welcomes comments and suggestions.


Committee Reports:

Communications Committee – Molly McAllister, VP

Has everyone received Marymount Alumnae Emails?  A show of hands revealed that most did.  It is our primary means of communications.  The newsletter is a great source but there is a time lapse.  Another important tool is the website. You can log onto the Fordham website and go to the Marymount link.  You can still order the Vera Bradley bags (all proceeds go to the Legacy Fund).  The web site is current.  For example, it would have listed the names of people attending the reunion event and their email addresses.  Peggy from the Fordham Alumnae Office is in charge of updating our information.  The minutes from the Board of Directors meetings will be on the website as well. 

Marymount had the final Senior Induction dinner for the last class.  Sr. Brigid spoke about the RSHM and we have a copy of her speech if anyone is interested.  It was a terrific speech and Sr. Brigid was thanked.

Everyone is encouraged to participate and attend future Marymount events.  Now, more than ever, your participation is important.  If we cannot get a good showing, we can no longer justify the cost of putting together the events. 

This is Molly's last year on the board after having served 2 consecutive terms.  Next year, Sarah Sullivan Phillips, ‘97 will serve as the chair of the Communications Committee.

By Laws Committee – Kathleen Polanowicz, Committee Chair

The last version of the By-Laws was adopted at last April's meeting.  The board will review again in September.  The final version will be put on the Website.

Nominations Committee – Kathleen Polanowicz, Committee Chair

There are several members who are going off the board and they are, Linda Purcell, Christine Hughes, Molly McAllister and Jessica Kogan.

There are several new members to the board and they are, Jane Bartnett Galvin '76, Carol Whelan Connors '56, Jennifer Lumley Fletcher '97 WEC, Kathleen Jowitt '72, Elisa Lyew '07, Kathleen McGahran, PhD, '72, Suzanne Banas Oneto '87, Elizabeth Pymm '07, Sarah Phillips Sullivan '97, and Renee Zobel '83.  We welcome our new members. 

Archives Committee – Pat Cotter, Committee Chair (not present, Molly McAllister spoke on her behalf)

Molly reassured everyone that the Sisters took what they wanted from the Marymount archives.  The rest is beautifully maintained at Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus.  Everything is logged, accounted for and maintained in a temperature controlled facility.

Carolyn Dolan is a Marymount and Fordham alumnae who is trying to pull together an event to visit the archives.

Historical Designation Committee – Renee Zobel, Committee Chair

Renee pursued the historical designation for Butler and was thrilled to learn that Gerard and the Science Building will also be pursued. 

The Board of Trustees of Tarrytown hired Karen Kennedy, an historic preservation planner to take photos.  However, Karen was denied access to the campus.  Therefore, photos gathered from the Marymount archives were presented to the Board of Trustees and they were satisfied with the submission.  There will be an open public hearing in Tarrytown. 

E. F. agreed to participate in a Village Citizens Review Committee to consider environmental and other issues at the campus.  This is not connected with the historic landmark designation and the Tarrytown Board will not pursue State and National designations – those are something that we must pursue.  It was stipulated in the Compatible Use Permit by Tarrytown that E. F. would agree with the historic designation for the three buildings.  

Question:  What does historical designation mean?

Answer by Renee:  It means that there can be no façade changes, no alterations can be made except to update the electrical wiring and plumbing.   


100th Anniversary – Joyce Abamont, Committee Chair (not present, Molly spoke on her behalf)

There were 650 people in attendance for the 100th celebration.  The archives display was videotaped.  There were 125 plus people who attended the mass in New York City.  The RSHM were thanked for all they have done for Marymount.


Fundraising/Scholarship Committee – Kristine Welker, Committee Chair

Kristine introduced her committee members, Patricia Cole and Margaret Watson.  The spirit of Marymount is not going anywhere, we're preparing for the next 100 years.  Three main goals (3 Ps):

  1. Preserve our excellence;
  2. Prepare women for our changing society;
  3. Provide scholarships to women who embody the Marymount spirit. 


Young women are our immediate focus, but our sights are bigger, maybe Department Chairs in the future?  $70,000 in donations was received  during our first year and, as of  today, we have over $150,000 for this year.  We are still asking for support; there were 200 donors last year and so far this year we have over 300 donors.  

This year's scholarship was awarded to Shannon Sweeny who is in route to either Taiwan or Korea.  She graduated last year and you can keep track of her on our website.  The second scholarship will be awarded in the fall.  Fordham just gave us their candidates for next year's scholarship.  We are seeking four qualities that the candidate must have:

  1. Embody the spirit of Marymount;
  2. Family affiliation with Marymount or Fordham;
  3. Financial need and academic excellence;
  4. Full time attendance at Fordham.


The fiscal year is up in June.  Please forward your checks today for the Legacy Fund.

Last thing, Maria Casti, '05 reached out to Oceanic Cruises who created the Legacy Cruises.  There are 5 itineraries available.  All Alumnae are encouraged to review the itineraries and take advantage of the discounts.   Maria was thanked for all her work.



Rita Arno:

We're doing our best to make Marymount merchandise available on line in the future;
The website is the best way to stay connected to Marymount. 

Rita will be retiring this year, and the announcement of this resulted in a standing ovation.  She was thanked for her dedicated work and commitment to Marymount.  Rita introduced Peggy, our Fordham Alumni Office contact.  Peggy was also thanked for her hard work.

Melissa Garzione:

The last group of students had their Senior Tea.  Melissa was there.  The girls received Medals since there was no graduation. 

The Legacy Fund is our primary fundraising objective.  There is a grass roots organization, Marymount College of Tarrytown Room Campaign if anyone is interested.

October 23, 2008 is the Annual Guardian Angel luncheon for the RSHM.  For ticket information, please contact

Year Books, Directories, Vera Bradley Marymount bags and Marymount jewelry may be ordered and there are DVDs available for sale.   You can also obtain these items online on our website. 

We are seeking volunteers for class agents for Class of '53 & '08. 

Question:  What do we do if you, as a Marymount Alumna, are a non-computer user?  How would you get your information? 


Helen Kelly '63 – For all classes from 1965 and later, use Email . For anyone from an earlier class, send them all information through the mail.  It's a mistake not to reach out to all classes.  We should make an effort to determine who the non-Email users are and do our best to find a way to stay connected with them.

As a measure of respect we should also send via mail a newsletter to all those who do not have email addresses.

Rita Arno – If you change your Email addresses, please contact Peggy's office at and advise them of same.   

Rosemary McCabe Travis '63 – Match up older alumnae who do not use Email with younger alumnae, a pen pal type of thing. 

Question:   Why do we need to have Fordham involved in our future?  Why not just become completely independent of Fordham?


Melissa McCoy Garzione -  Fordham is our gate keeper because it's our last owner.  The Board carefully reviewed all the costs associated with keeping our relationship with and/or without Fordham.  The Board determined that it was not financially feasible to sever ties with Fordham.  Just to mention a couple of major costs, Fordham pays for maintaining our database and our Alumnae events.  We need to evangelize the message that it is in our best interest to continue our relationship with Fordham for as long as possible.  We looked at going off on our own and determined that it was cost prohibitive.    So we need to rally and get the message out that Fordham is our ally and our future home.  It is also the only reason why the Legacy fund was able to give so fast. 

Helen Kelly – New York State mandates our transcripts and records rests with a State Agency which is another major reason why we need Fordham as our future home.


Have we tried to forge relationships with other Marymounts like the one we have with Fordham?



Melissa McCoy Garzione – We stay connected with the RSHM and support them and they support us.  Also, many of our former professors have now moved on to Fordham which is an extension of our family.


Is there a way to make a name for Marymount by volunteering in the community?


We try to be an extension of the RSHM.  Sr. Margaret is our connection.


How can we maintain our presence with Fordham? 


There are social events planned which are outlined in ‘The Guide' which comes out every September.  It lists all the social events for all Fordham schools, including Marymount.  Also, once the Marymount database if moved over to Fordham, there is a social network available through the website.  It is a widely used tool for all Fordham alumnae, helping people stay together. 


The deadline to submit items for the next Newsletter is September 1. 

Sr. Brigid thanked the Board of Directors for their hard work and tireless dedication.  The Board received applause.

The meeting ended at 12:40 p.m.

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