It was 1972, and the world was still in turmoil; “strike semester” and Kent State in the spring of ’70…Vietnam, politics…the women’s movement building…and Joan called a session in the IRC building for we young women trying to understand it all…Walking into the IRC, what song was Blasting!! throughout the building but Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman”….I can’t hear that song without thinking of her and that day. When you consider the number of lives she touched, both men and women, and I know with passion and grace, it is a legacy for you all as her family to be most proud of in your mom’s honor. She was so perfect for her time and its funny how some days are a photograph, or video even, in your mind and stay with you. That day with the song blasting just makes me smile whenever I think of it. I actually have always remembered, and can still see myself, walking down the stairs in that IRC room…it was one on the Sherman Hall side, over by Fitzelle…(I go back to campus from time to time with roommates, else believe me, I wouldn’t know the name of that building, ha ha). The energy in that room was amazing…and we all came away with high spirits and commitments to our beliefs. Those times demanded nothing less and it was a defining moment for me personally. Joan’s leadership, compassion, great humor and ability to challenge us both in the classroom and in our lives have stayed with me my whole life. I was a history major and thrilled with each class I took with her. She will always be a favorite with a special place in my heart. Blessings to her family and each of you she touched.
~Holly DeVan (1973)
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Terry Smyth said:
Holly, thank you for sharing this memory and your wonderful thoughts about my mom. Your post made me smile and tear up at the same time.