A passionate advocate for Mount Holyoke, Liz Worman Bauer ’59 resides in Ferndale, Michigan. Liz devotes her time to MHC in a variety of ways: not only does she lend her support as a regional Alumna Admission Representative and serve as the treasurer for the Mount Holyoke Club of Detroit, but she is also a tireless advancement volunteer. Through her work as a Co-Head Class Agent and as a member of both The Mount Holyoke Fund Committee and The Mount Holyoke Fund Beyond the 50th Committee, Liz has found that her connections to her classmates, the alumnae network and the College are more important now than ever before.
What has life been like for you during the pandemic?
Like many, the weeks in a state-mandated lockdown have been different. I have appreciated the care and concern of neighbors who check in on me. I live alone in a little house with a small yard and gardens, so I have plenty to do. I take miles-long walks daily (properly masked) and find exercise very important to mental health as well as physical health.
Three of my children live very far away and so we meet over Zoom which has been fun, but not the same as seeing one another in person — although I see them more often on Zoom than I ever did before the pandemic. My fourth child, Ginny, is 52 and lives in a small group home just seven miles from me. She has profound intellectual and developmental disabilities and does not speak. Before the lockdown, we would go out for lunch every weekend, and Ginny loved going to her skill building program five days a week. Now she is stuck at home, as am I; Zoom is not useful, nor is the telephone. I talk with her staff and all is going well so far, but this is a “hole” in my life for the time being.
What I see and feel most is the kindness, care and concern that people are exhibiting toward one another. I admire the people who go to work every day in positions that expose them to infection. I respect the people who follow safe practices for their own sake and the sake of others. I am in awe of teachers who are reforming their educational practice to assure that youth continue learning even in time away from traditional school settings.
I am hopeful that the initiative that has been demonstrated in this time continues as the pandemic passes. We can be a more caring, competent, compassionate society. We have seen the sparks of greatness, and I hope they burn brighter into the future.
How have your Mount Holyoke connections helped you through this time? What has the MHC network meant to you?
As a Co-Head Class Agent working with about 40 volunteer class agents and officers, I have seen this network as key to connection with our classmates. Connections matter at every age — they matter even more when we are in our 80s. Many classmates have lost mates, are experiencing declining health or are living in dependent care. For too many there have been disruptions in their lives, and regular outreach from classmates is heartwarming. Just a note, call or email that asks, “How are you?” makes a difference.
Despite the paths our lives have taken, we had a common experience at Mount Holyoke. It is the basis for connecting. No matter how many years have passed since the last connection, it still matters. I am grateful for all Mount Holyoke has given me and will always support MHC.
Why is it important to you to support Mount Holyoke at this time?
It is always important to support Mount Holyoke. It is even more important to support the College as it endures the current disruption and works to determine the best way forward. Current leadership is planning thoughtfully, and I am delighted that current students are members of the various planning teams. The best plans emerge when all who are affected by the outcome are involved in determining it.
Why do you believe it is important for alumnae to support the College?
Mount Holyoke welcomes all and provides women with an education that encourages leadership, scholarship, thoughtful questioning, exploration of possibilities and more. Graduates are resilient, creative and resourceful contributors to society.
What has your MHC education meant to you?