A Long Bright Future – Spring Luncheon 2012

Cap and Gown

For those of you who were fortunate enough to attend the Spring Luncheon, I’m sure you’ll all agree that it was an event to remember!

From the ambiance of the beautiful tables highlighted by the exquisite centerpieces to the wonderful traditional Tapping of Dr. Carstensen to Dr. Carstensen herself to the amazing inter-generational panel to the invisible threads and group photo, the event was magical.

Shari Kuchenbecker and Kathryn Kilner – a standing ovation for your outstanding dedication, hard work and beautiful execution of this event! Our goal of bringing our Cap & Gown community closer was exceeded! BRAVO!

In the era of doubt around support for the annual Cap and Gown luncheon, this year’s event undid all doubt and reestablished the event firmly in Cap and Gown tradition.

Our guest speaker, Dr. Laura Carstensen, challenged us to envision, design, diversify, and invest to ensure that when find ourselves aged, we are not surprised by the extra years in our lives, but embrace them with enthusiasm and wherewithal.  Our life expectancy has increased 30 years over the last century.  Laura encouraged us to be proactive and plan so that we will be mentally sharp, physically fit, and financially secure.

Laura’s advice:

  • Envision:  Imagine, don’t cope, aim higher, daydream about your future.
  • Design:  Design your life so that default choices are good:  exercise, eat well, save.
  • Diversify:  Diversify your social network, your interests, your capabilities so that if you lose one thing you are not lost.
  • Invest:  Invest in yourself, in what will sustain you.  Educate yourself throughout life.

President Kathy Chou interviewed a cross-generational panel to uncover their perspectives and preparations for long bright futures.  The three panel members, Jean Coblentz, ’47, Ellen Petrill, ’77, and Reagan Thompson, ’12 revealed how differences in the eras of their beginnings impacted their experiences but not their positive outlooks, a trait we find typical for Cap and Gown women.

Cap and Gown surprised Laura Carstensen by tapping her as an honorary Cap and Gown member.  The luncheon ended with Kathy Chou sharing a pearl for everyone to remind each woman that we are tied together with the invisible thread of our stories and dreams and actions for a long bright future.  Shari Kuchenbecker made a photograph of the group from the roof.

In a change from past events, this luncheon was open to all, which led to a capacity crowd in the main Faculty Club dining room.  The Cap and Gown members and guests delighted in the tasty lunch, cross-generational conversations, and the opportunity to have Laura Carstensen sign her book A Long Bright Future.

Thank you to the committee led by co-chairs Kathryn Kilner and Shari Kuchenbecker for designing and executing this lovely event.