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Women in Philanthropy members meet to share OHIO memories, celebrate the arts [PHOTOS]


Thirty Cleveland-area alumnae came together on Thursday, June 13, for a Women in Philanthropy (WIP) of Ohio University networking reception. Hosted by alumna Michelle Paris, a 1975 graduate, and her husband David, the event offered attendees the opportunity to reminisce and reconnect with other Ohio University alumnae, alumni and even a current student.

The event was held at the Paris’s home and featured artwork from OHIO faculty and alumni. Michelle began the evening by welcoming guests and sharing some her fondest memories of Ohio University. “I think about the song ‘Maggie May’ and walking into McKinnon Hall – it was heaven,” she said. “OU gave me the life that I love, so that’s why we’re here.”

Take a look below at some of the evening’s most memorable moments.

Guests arrived to a display of WIP’s signature, limited edition David Hostetler Art Scarf, which debuted at WIP’s 2011 “OHIO Women Making a Difference Conference.”

Guests arrived to a display of WIP’s signature, limited edition David Hostetler Art Scarf, which debuted at WIP’s 2011 “OHIO Women Making a Difference Conference.” The images in the silk scarf are sculptures by Professor Emeritus of Art and world-renowned artist David Hostetler (1949 alumnus). Proceeds from the scarf benefit WIP, allowing the organization to continue providing financial support for OHIO’s students, faculty and activities. WIP member Debbie Phillips Bower (1973 alumna) initiated and guided the scarf project.

Chair of Ohio University Cleveland Women's Club Yolanda Sutyak.

From left: Chair of Ohio University Cleveland Women's Club Yolanda Sutyak (1959 alumna) speaks with OHIO's Director of Development for WIP and the 1804 Fund Dorothy Schey (middle) and 1965 alumna Bonna DeMarco. Schey welcomed and greeted guests as they arrived and spoke with attendees about the goals and successes of WIP. “I love every minute of getting out and meeting alumnae and alumni of Ohio University,” said Schey.

WIP Chair Arlene F. Greenfield (left) with recent OHIO graduates Samantha Baker (2011 alumna) and Christopher Nierstheimer (2013 alumnus).

Caption: WIP Chair Arlene F. Greenfield (left) with recent OHIO graduates Samantha Baker (2011 alumna) and Christopher Nierstheimer (2013 alumnus). “I was thrilled to see such a wonderful turn out for the event,” said Greenfield. “From very recent graduates to current students to 1940s alumnae, we had such a wonderful mix of OHIO time, talent and treasure represented at the reception.”

Michelle Paris (far right) helped kicked off the evening by leading the entire group in singing OHIO’s fight song, “Stand Up and Cheer.”

Michelle Paris (far right) helped kicked off the evening by leading the entire group in singing OHIO’s fight song, “Stand Up and Cheer.” Paris, who graduated from Ohio University with a degree in education, received her Juris Doctorate from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She was a magistrate with the Cleveland Municipal Court for more than 20 years and currently serves as a visiting magistrate with the Court. She served as chief magistrate of the Cleveland Municipal Court General Division from 1991-2002. Prior to joining the Court, Paris taught elementary education in California and Ohio, served as an examiner with the City of Cleveland Civil Service Commission and maintained a private law practice. Paris currently teaches law courses at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Case Western University’s School of Law.

Current student and WIP internship scholarship recipient Renée Hagerty (second from left, on couch) speaks to the group about her experience as an Honors Tutorial College (HTC).

Current student and WIP internship scholarship recipient Renée Hagerty (second from left, on couch) speaks to the group about her experience as an Honors Tutorial College (HTC) political science major and her desire to encourage other students to get involved with OHIO outside of the classroom. As a WIP scholarship recipient, Hagerty received $1,000 to help fund travel and expenses during her summer internship experience. Offered through the collaboration between WIP and OHIO’s Career and Leadership Development Center, the scholarship is open annually to all undergraduate students in good academic standing who have secured summer internships. From left (back row): Lisa Witherite (1995 alumna), Kelly Baylog (2004 alumna), Sheila McHale (1968 alumna), Amanda Seifert (2003 alumna) and Dorothy Schey, director of development for WIP and the 1804 Fund. From right (on couch): Mary Gannon (College of Fine Arts alumna), Renée Hagerty (current HTC student), and Ann Marie Ogletree (1969 alumna).

College of Fine Arts alumna Mary Gannon (pictured in previous photo – first from left, on couch) provided the painting featured in this photo for display at the reception.

College of Fine Arts alumna Mary Gannon (pictured in previous photo – first from left, on couch) provided the painting featured in this photo for display at the reception. The painting, titled “Backyard Blossoms,” was a focal point of the meeting area and generated a number of conversations about OHIO’s arts programs. “I want to shout out to Seigfred,” said Gannon. “It was just such a terrific learning experience for me as an artist.” Seigfred Hall is the center of activity for Fine Arts students at OHIO, housing the studios, classrooms and offices of the School of Art, as well as Ohio University’s Art Gallery on the fifth floor.

WIP founding member Sheila Rowan McHale, a 1968 Arts & Sciences alumna, attended the event with her daughter-in-law Amanda Seifert, a 2003 Arts & Sciences alumna.

WIP founding member Sheila Rowan McHale, a 1968 Arts & Sciences alumna, attended the event with her daughter-in-law Amanda Seifert, a 2003 Arts & Sciences alumna. McHale currently serves on the Campaign Steering Committee, OU-HCOM’s Advisory Board and is an emerita trustee of the Ohio University Foundation Board. During the event, McHale spoke about her special connection with OHIO. “Ohio University has given back so much more to me than I could ever give back,” she said. “There is something about Ohio University that is just magic.”

From left: Host David Paris (middle) with 2002 alumna Carlie Ali-Hassan (left) and her grandmother Effie Chapman(1949 alumna).

From left: Host David Paris (middle) with 2002 alumna Carlie Ali-Hassan (left) and her grandmother Effie Chapman(1949 alumna). Chapman spoke to the group about her fond memories of Howard Hall and what she described as “Hog Island.” Following the end of WWII in 1945, OHIO experienced a shortage of space due the influx of students using the G.I. bill. The University received a grant to raise 12 acres of land above the floodplain – on what is now East Green. The area was filled with surplus WWII barracks and when it rained, this area became known to OHIO students, faculty and staff as “Hog Island.”

Kyla Strid, who received her master’s degree from the College of Fine Arts in 2013, provided one of the many ceramic pieces on display at the Cleveland-area event.

Kyla Strid, who received her master’s degree from the College of Fine Arts in 2013, provided one of the many ceramic pieces on display at the Cleveland-area event. The piece in this photo was part of her thesis exhibition, titled “Inflorescence.” WIP provided a Strid stoneware piece to Michelle Paris as a gift for her hospitality (see below).

Dorothy Schey presents a stunning ceramic stoneware piece from Kyla Strid’s collection to host Michelle Paris.

Director of Development for WIP and the 1804 Fund Dorothy Schey presents a stunning ceramic stoneware piece from Kyla Strid’s collection to host Michelle Paris, an avid supporter of the arts. On her website, Strid describes some of the inspiration behind her collection: “When I draw petals and leaves on my pots, I am astounded as the underlying structures and patterns of the plants begin to unveil themselves. These structures and patterns are not so different from the cycles and rhythms we encounter in our lives. Ultimately, I hope to layer these details pulled from these day-to-day cycles, ordinary domestic objects, and garden greenery in my work to illuminate the extraordinary poetry often residing in the background of our daily grind.”