Washington, DC Vassar Club eNewsletter
  The Washington, DC Vassar Club eNewsletter | Fall 2011

Upcoming Events


Vassar FilmFest 2011!
The very popular Vassar FilmFest returns to the Letelier Theater in Georgetown on Saturday, October 22, 2011. Fan us on Facebook!
For additional information, and to volunteer at FilmFest 2011, please send email to [email protected] or [email protected].

FILMFEST REGISTRATION can be completed at the Club's website - vassardc.org

Ivy Singles Social Club
The Ivy Singles Social Club is hosting a reception for sophisticated singles on Friday, October 28th, at the historic University Club of Washington, DC. Halloween costumes are welcome but entirely optional! Admission is $30 in advance or $40 at the door; light hors d'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar is available.

Vassar DC Mentoring pairs experienced alums working in the DC area with a recent graduate of the last five years. All you need is an interest in a respective career field. Join us for mentoring events, meet-and-greets, and happy hours. Apply for the program by submitting a resume and brief paragraph describing your interest in the program to [email protected]. Launch date is late October!

Of Note

Introducing: GREG WONG
Assistant Director of Admissions for the DC region, GREG WONG, is making his first visits to high schools in our area. Events were held at the Montgomery County Schools College Fair on Tuesday, September 27th, and at Georgetown Day School on Tuesday, October 4th.

Club Resources

Washington, DC Website

Vassar Alumnae/i Website

Volunteer/Officer Resources

Become a Member and Pay Club Dues Online

Club Officers

Robert Walker '79

Helen Troy '72

Past President, Ex Officio, and Interim Communications Chair:
Karen Cox '80

Programs Chair:
LaFleur Paysour '72

Scholarship Chair:
Beatrix Davis Fields '72

Admissions Chair:
Natania Gazek '09

FilmFest Co-Chairs:
Libby Richman '92
Anita Green '79
Carolee Walker '79

All Ivy Singles Chair:
Melanne Civic '89

Vassar FilmFest 2011!

The very popular Vassar FilmFest returns to the Letelier Theater in Georgetown
on Saturday, October 22, 2011

FilmFest Co-chairs Carolee Belkin Walker '79, Anita Newman Green '79 and Libby Richman '92 are excited to announce that James B. Steerman, Emeritus Professor of Drama and Film at Vassar, has graciously agreed to serve as the moderator for this year's FilmFest! The lineup of films (see below) will be screened in a daylong program culminating with a reception in the evening. As always, this is a great opportunity to see new films by creative Vassar students and fellow alumnae/i, and to meet up with old friends. We hope you'll join us! Become a fan of the FilmFest on Facebook. For additional information, and to volunteer at FilmFest 2011, please send an email to [email protected] or [email protected].

FILMFEST REGISTRATION can be completed at the Club's website - vassardc.org

Vassar FilmFest

Vassar Club of Washington, DC 7th Annual FilmFest
Saturday, October 22, 2011

Letelier Theater, 3251 Prospect St. NW, Upper Courtyard, Washington, DC 20007 (Underground parking available)
Moderated by Vassar Professor Emeritus James Steerman

Lori Arden '11 - Outside In (director)

Reuben Atlas '01- You're Alright, Kid (director)

Bill Block '80 - The Drummer (writer and director)

Benjamin Busch '91 - Bright (director)

Karen Cox '80 - Aide-de-Camp (producer)

Stephanie Donnelly '11- I Now Pronounce You Husband & Husband (director)

Estefania Fadul '10 - Beauty Mark (director)

Max Kutner '11 - Trial and Error (director and composer)

Anna Moot-Levin '07 - Inside Job (associate producer), Still in Motion (director)

George Walker Petit '82 (formerly George Weiss) - The Drummer (music producer)

Payal Sethi '01 - Grant Street Shaving Company (director)

Isaac Solotaroff '93 - Wham! Bam! Islam! (director and producer)

Robin Skye '80 (formerly Robin Lipsky) - The Drummer (actress)

David Tenenbaum '97 - Cataplexy (actor)

Adam Tomei '91 - You Really F****d Me Back There (actor)

Aubrey Wynn '11 - Outside In (cinematographer)

Showcasing Films by Vassar Alumnae/i and members of the Class of 2011
Festival Program Pass includes Festival Program screenings,
panel discussions with the filmmakers, and Festival Reception
Most films recommended for mature audiences; schedule subject to change

President's Message

Dear Fellow Washington Vassarites:

As Washington's fabled heat has come and gone, and the cooler days of fall have descended on us, your Vassar Club still plans to keep your temperature up. In this issue of the newsletter you'll read about the Club's main mid-year event, our June 23 Annual Meeting where our guest speaker was Tanya Wright '89. Ms. Wright is a crossover-performing artist who has worked in television and film as an actor, writer, and director. She spoke on "The New Artist: 2011", and explored with us the influence of new media on today's artists. See the related article for details on the event and photographs of our guest speaker and alumnae/i members of the audience.

You'll also read about our other main event this year - FilmFest 2011 - scheduled for later this month on October 22nd. We thank the many Vassar filmmakers who each year submit more than 100 films for consideration. Only a few make the line-up for our day long festival, this year moderated by Vassar's Emeritus Professor of Drama and Film, James Steerman. Please register early as we look forward to seeing many of you at the Letelier Theater in Georgetown on the 22nd.

We share with the rest of the college community in celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Vassar, and we will do our part to help the college reach its fundraising goals. Recall the Annual Fund motto, "Every Alum. Any Amount. Every Year," and remember to honor this historic, once in a lifetime commemoration in a particularly special way.

With this issue we must say goodbye and good luck to our club vice president and admissions committee chair, Jeff King '07. Jeff is leaving the area to begin his masters in education program at Vanderbilt in the fall. No one has brought more energy, new ideas, and new members to the club these past few years than Jeff, and we will miss him. Best wishes, Jeff, Nashville is fortunate to have you, and we look forward to your return.

Like most organizations these days, we must be greener and leaner. Help us do that by becoming a fan of the Facebook group "Vassar Club of Washington, DC". By doing so you'll be the first to receive notices with details about new club events. Our website, vassardc.org, is undergoing change as we work with the Vassar Club of New York and others to harmonize the appearance, links, and information. Keep watching and clicking, and let us know what you think.

Welcome to fall, stay warm, and hope to see each and every one of you at FilmFest 2011.

-- Bob Walker '79

Tanya Wright was Featured Speaker
at the Annual Meeting of the Vassar Club of Washington, DC,
Thursday, June 23rd

Actor, Novelist and Filmmaker, Tanya Wright, '89, was the featured speaker at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Vassar Club of Washington, DC.

Tanya Wright '89Tanya Wright's work as an actor is well established. She's known to television audiences for her roles as Kenya in the popular HBO series, "True Blood"; the flirtatious rookie cop, Maya Anderson, on "NYPD Blue"; and FBI agent Marcy Westerfield opposite Emmy-award winner, Joe Pantoliano, in CBS's "The Handler." Among Tanya's earliest work were recurring appearances on "The Cosby Show." Next, Tanya will appear in the upcoming feature film, 'Predisposed' with Jesse Eisenberg ('The Social Network') and Academy Award Winner, Melissa Leo (Best Supporting Actress, 'The Fighter').

An audience of over fifty turned up for a spirited discussion about Tanya's varied life as a writer, actor and filmmaker. After all, her directorial debut film was barely finished when she settled down to work on a novel. She had already done the heavy lifting for the film, as screenwriter, director, and as the female lead actor but now she felt ready to tell the story in a different medium. We learned the story at the heart of the film and the novel, 'Butterfly Rising': When her brother dies, singer Lilah Belle sets out to escape her grief and embarks on a road trip to New Hope, Mississippi. But not before coaxing the new-to-town, most scandalous woman in Artesia, Mississippi - Rose Johnson, played by Tanya - to go with her. These two broken souls steal a vintage truck and head out on the open road to a fated encounter with the mythical, magical "Lazarus of the Butterflies." What occurs with the strange Butterfly Man transforms their destinies and binds the women together - forever. A blogosphere reviewer wrote, "If you liked Sue Monk's 'The Secret Life of Bees,' you'll love 'Butterfly Rising".

The essence of the novel and the film spring from Tanya Wright's own life. "My brother, Barron Wright, died suddenly in 2005, and I was ... changing, wide and deep. My attraction to butterflies during this period of my life was strong," Wright explained. "A butterfly - with its four stages: egg, caterpillar, cocoon, and finally, butterfly - is the result of a metamorphosis; the complete transformation." Once the decision to produce the screenplay was made, "I went on a mission, driving around the city and area of Columbus, Mississippi scouting locations," Wright said. "I was amazed at how similar things were to the pictures in my mind." After months of preparation, the film was shot last year in and around Columbus, with cast members drawn from Memphis and Los Angeles. On May 8, 2011, the film made its debut in a series of film festival screenings at the prestigious Langston Hughes African American Film Festival in Seattle.

A native of the Bronx, Tanya attended the George School in Pennsylvania. After receiving her Vassar AB in Comparative Literature, she worked for The New York Times. Tanya Wright's presentation, made possible through the generous support of the Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College (AAVC), and accompanied by excerpts from her film, took place during the Club's annual meeting on Thursday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, located at 1785 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. The evening began with a reception and a brief business meeting.

Vassar Interview Day
and Admitted Students Reception 2011

On Saturday, March 5th, the Admissions Committee of the Vassar Club of Washington, DC hosted its annual regional interview day for prospective students at Howrey, LLP in downtown Washington. Thirty alumni volunteers, ranging from the Class of 1972 to the Class of 2009, interviewed over 30 students. Many of the alumni commented on the exceptional talent of the pool of applicants--from both public and private schools. Alumni met with high school seniors who are interning with medical and legal offices, starting their own businesses, and working in community service both regionally and abroad. In addition to meeting prospective students, the alums enjoyed connecting and reconnecting with each other and reminiscing about Vassar. Old Vassar friends rekindled friendships and new ones linked up through the common network of our school. Overall, the event was a successful model of the large supportive alumni network of Vassar alums, demonstrating to the prospective students one of the great benefits of attending our alma mater. Over the course of the next month, the Admissions Committee conducted 50 interviews in the DC metro region. In all, about 8,000 students applied to Vassar from across the country and the overall admit rate was about 22.5% this year; 212 students from the DC region applied and 58 were admitted.

On Sunday, April 10th, the Admissions Committee held an Admitted Students Reception at Round House Theatre's Education Center in Silver Spring, MD, with Sam Charner, Vassar Assistant Director of Admissions, in attendance. Sixteen admitted students and their families were present to hear a panel of recent alums speak about their experiences at Vassar. Students witnessed another great representation from our alumni network and the strength of a Vassar education.

Twenty-three students from our area have chosen to attend Vassar this fall, and the work performed by members of the alumni volunteers in the Admissions Committee helped these students make Vassar their top choice school. We look forward to working with everyone again this year. Be sure to sign up to volunteer this August through the Admissions Office. As always, our deepest gratitude goes to Roxann Henry '75, Partner at Howrey, LLP, who has supported the Club's efforts each year in recruiting students by allowing us to use the legal firm's offices for our annual interview day.

Introducing Greg Wong, VC Admissions Officer for the DC Region

Natania Gazek '09, the new Admissions Chair for the Vassar Club of Washington, DC is pleased to introduce the new Vassar Assistant Director of Admissions for the DC region, Gregory Wong. Greg participated in two events in our area, the second of which was a Regional Evening Reception at Georgetown Day School on Tuesday, October 4th. The event was an information and Question & Answer session for high school students and their families. Alumnae/i volunteers helped with set-up, guest registration, and greeting students and their families that evening. Greg ran the information session, and later joined alums in chatting with prospective students and their families about the experience of applying to and attending college at Vassar. For information on volunteering at such future events, please contact Natania Gazek at [email protected].

Recent Alumnae/i Summer Celebration in DC, June 15th

On June 15th, the Club's recent alumnae/i celebrated the official beginning of summer with a gathering among Vassar friends. Alums from the classes of 2001-2011 reconnected at a casual celebration of the Vassar community in Washington, DC. They enjoyed a night out at Local 16, located at 1602 U Street NW. Light appetizers were served at a cash bar. Here's a look at http://localsixteen.com/. Hosts included Samuel Rosen-Amy '08, Morgan Warners '08, Will Zichawo '10, Jeff King '07, Seth Tannenbaum '08, Rachel Wetz '08, Julia Kann '10, Nina Blustein '08, Lauren Forbes '05, Caitlin Horrigan '05, Katherine Bossange '07 and Johnny Lo '06.

Exciting FOLGER LIBRARY Lecture, July 7th

On July 7th, Steven Galbraith, the Folger Shakespeare Library's Curator of Books and Renate Mesner Acting Head of Conservation provided a lecture attended by Vassar alums and the public. The topic, "To Catch a Thief: Recovering the Durham First Folio," complemented the Folger's special exhibition of the 1623 collection of Shakespeare plays, the Durham First Folio. This collection was donated by Emily Jordan Folger, Vassar class of 1879, and co-founder of the Shakespeare Library in 1932. The Folger Library has come full circle with the hiring of Michael Witmore, Vassar class of 1989, who was recently named its Director.

Vassar DC Mentoring Kicks off !!

Need advice from Vassar alum working in your field of interest? Want to advise recent graduates at the start of their careers?

The Vassar Club of Washington, DC is proud to announce Vassar DC Mentoring, a new initiative of the Vassar Club of Washington, DC, will pair experienced alums working in the DC area with a recent graduate of the last five years interested in working in their respective career field. The Club will organize a series of mentoring events, including meet-and-greets and happy hours, for mentors and mentees to share their experiences. Because mentors and mentees will be expected to establish regular contact outside of these events as needed to attain their personal and career goals, this program is flexible in accommodating participants' schedules. We invite and encourage interested alums to apply for the program.
Interested? Please submit a resume and a brief paragraph describing your interest in the program to [email protected].

Look for an announcement about our launch date in late October!

Although the program will be ongoing, we urge alums interested in participating in this year's program to apply by October 30, 2011. Thank you to the Vassar DC Mentoring Steering Committee: Riane Harper '09, Katrina Homel '09, Nevin Martell '97, and Pamela Martin '77.

Ivy Singles Social Club
Event organized by the representatives of the
Harvard and Vassar Clubs of Washington DC

Friday, October 28th
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The University Club of Washington, DC
1135 16th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC

The Ivy Singles Social Club is hosting a reception for sophisticated singles on Friday, October 28th, at the historic University Club of Washington, DC. Halloween costumes are welcome but entirely optional!

Admission is $30 in advance or $40 at the door; light hors d'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar is available. Advance payment is by check made payable to Harvard Club of Washington and mailed to Peter Meyer, 1505 Crystal Dr. #804, Arlington, VA 22202. If you're associated with any of the member alumni clubs, please note their name(s) on the check. Please also make sure to add an email address or phone number on your check so you can be contacted, if necessary.

The reception is organized by the representatives of the Harvard and Vassar Clubs of Washington, DC. Questions should be addressed to [email protected] and [email protected].

The University Club is about four blocks from the McPherson Square and Farragut Square Metro stops. Parking on the street may be available but is generally not free in the evenings.

The Ivy Social Club is a coalition of Ivy League, Seven Sister and other prestigious schools' regional alumni associations that sponsor social activities. Events are open to single alumni of member schools and their guests. Most attendees are in their 30s, 40s or 50s, however, all ages are welcome. For more information, please visit www.ivysinglesdc.com.

Newsletter Editor: Karen L. Cox

© Copyright 2011 Washington, DC Vassar Club