Page 34 - 2012 Spring Lycoming Mag

John Piazza
(570) 321-1818
Kristina Beuttas
French) and her
partner of 21 years recently purchased
a home on eight-acres in Seagrove,
N.C. They plan to live eco-friendly by
farming, installing solar panels and
burning biodiesel.
Roy Crowe
Jeffrey S. Reddall
(281) 242-6010
Deirdre Connelly
administration) was named to
America Magazine
s Business 100,
which honors the best and brightest
Irish-American and Irish-born leaders
representing some of the most
innovative and influential companies
and corporations in the world.
She is president of North America
Pharmaceuticals for GlaxoSmithKline.
Lynn Cruickshank
Theo (Gude) Truch
(908) 956-1273
Patricia (Dempsey) Hutchinson
(610) 768-0404
David McHale
administration) has been promoted to
senior vice president, senior commercial
banking officer, at First Liberty Bank &
Trust in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Tina Muheim
(215) 574-0160
Charlene (Bieber) Fischer
international studies) passed the state
and national real estate licensing exams
in December and now works for Weichert
Realtors Premier of Williamsport. She
More than an
V. Chapman-Smith ’72
reminisces during Black
History Month Dinner
By Jerry Rashid
V. Chapman-Smith ’72 was one of
black students who desegregated
Woodrow Wilson High School, one of
Washington, D.C.’s elite, previously
all-white, college preparatory public
schools. There, she was often an
only” in many of her classes.
When the time came for her to
choose a college, she passed on
opportunities to attend Bennington
and Smith colleges. Instead, she
selected Lycoming College. That decision surprised many in her family, who
knew nothing about Lycoming and wondered why she would venture to a place so
near the “wilds of Pennsylvania.” She chose Lycoming because it offered a small
campus and classroom environment and an opportunity to connect to the journey
that her grandfather made to Williamsport after he left the military as a Buffalo
Soldier in Nebraska in the late 1880s.
Chapman-Smith returned to campus to share these and other personal stories as
guest speaker during Lycoming’s seventh annual Black History Month Dinner Feb. 4.
First of all, I arrived at Lycoming in 1968…one of the most tumultuous
times in our nation,” said Chapman-Smith. She referred to the 1968 Presidential
Election, a wrenching national experience conducted against a backdrop that
included the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and
subsequent race riots across the nation, the assassination of presidential candidate
Robert F. Kennedy, widespread demonstrations at college campuses against the
Vietnam War, and violent confrontations between police and anti-war protesters at
the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
In thinking back on this backdrop, it is hard to visualize now,” said Chapman-
Smith. “However, imagine a not quite 18-year-old freshman arriving at Lycoming
as the only African-American girl in her class!”
Chapman-Smith says she appreciated that Lycoming offered the opportunity
for a “boutique” college experience and had a well-respected German language
curriculum that included a junior year abroad program. She also had a strong
interest in history, philosophy, religion and the fine arts. Her love of historical
thinking and analysis were nurtured by her father, who not only shared his
exceptional reading library with her, but engaged her in rigorous discussions of
current and world events.
She stated, “The bottom line…I came to Lycoming with an open mind and
ready to take advantage of the most this liberal arts school could provide. I was
willing to pursue my passions and own my life!” In addition to her coursework,
she pursued many community service activities, as well as enjoyed the cultural
and enrichment events offered by the College.
Upon graduation from Lycoming, even though I may not have fully realized
it at the time, I left here not with just an education, but as a stronger more capable
person who could participate and contribute broadly,” said Chapman-Smith, who
not only earned a degree with honors in German, but enough credits for a history
major and went on to study in the history doctoral program at Temple University.
Chapman-Smith, recipient of Lycoming’s 2009 Outstanding Achievement
Award, is the regional strategic liaison in the Office of the Chief Operations
Officer at the National Archives at Philadelphia. She and her husband, Robert
Smith ’73, reside in Overbrook Farms, a national historic district in Philadelphia.
They have two adult children.
V. Chapman-Smith ’72