For Alumnae


Ellis Reunion Weekend October 12–14

Join us as we celebrate classes ending in 3’s and 8’s at Reunion Weekend on October 12–14, 2018. This year, we’re changing things up with three fun-filled days of activities and events that include longstanding Ellis traditions like the presentation of the Sara Frazer Ellis award and new traditions like the Alumnae Career Panel. All alumnae, from all class years, are invited to come “home” to their beloved alma mater, Oh Ellis School, Fair Ellis, for Reunion Weekend 2018.

Greetings from Ellis! I hope you will join me on campus this October to celebrate Reunion Weekend 2018. While Ellis has grown and changed over the years, the core remains the same. Lifelong friends are made over class projects, long conversations, and antics in the hallways and girls are still empowered to lead and use their voice. I hope you’ll come back and see for yourself.


Friday, October 12, 2018

On Friday, alumnae are invited to catch up with classmates, friends, and former teachers at events on campus all-day. Tour the School alongside fellow Ellis women and share memories as you walk through the place that built the foundation upon which you stand today. Watch the Alumnae Career Panel to see and hear how Ellis influenced and inspired your fellow classmates. And return for the Alumnae Reception Friday evening to toast to the next 100 years of all-girls education and empowerment at Ellis.

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  • Friday, October 12, 2018 | Schedule

    Time | Location
    Event | Description
    9:30–11:00 a.m.
    Arbuthnot House
    Open to all classes
    Meet and Greet with Head of School Macon Finley
    Join fellow alumnae and Head of School Macon Finley in Arbuthnot House for coffee and breakfast (or shall we call it snack…) to start your day! Skip the Starbucks line and stop in to catch up with old classmates and mingle with Macon before you explore your old stomping grounds.  
    10:00–11:00 a.m.
    Meet in Lobby of Arbuthnot House
    Open to all classes
    Welcome Back Campus Tour
    Find out what has changed, and what has stayed the same, since graduation as you walk through the halls of your alma mater. Led by an Upper School student, hear firsthand what it’s like to be an Ellis girl circa 2018 and learn more about the latest programs and happenings at Ellis!
    11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
    Open to all classes
    Career Panel Featuring Ellis Alumnae
    Watch as alumnae share their professional experiences, answer questions from current students, and reflect on how Ellis informed their career paths.
    12:00–1:25 p.m.
    Alumnae Hall
    Open to all classes
    All Alumnae Lunch
    All alumnae are invited to join us for lunch, enjoy a performance by the Glee Club, and watch the presentation of the 2018 Sara Frazier Ellis award to Peggy MATHIESON Conver '73.
    1:30–2:00 p.m.
    Open to all classes
    Class Photos
    Transport yourself back to Picture Day—this time, sans braces—and pose for a group photo with your classmates. Cheese!
    2:00–2:45 p.m.
    Lower School, Room 201
    Class of 1968 only
    Grade 4 Grade Pen Pals
    What’s it like to be an Ellis girl today vs. an Ellis girl five decades ago? The Class of 1968 will find out when they meet their rambunctious, spirited, and silly pen pals from the Class of 2027!
    2:00–2:45 p.m
    Lower School, Room 103
    Open to all classes
    Limited to 12 people
    Grade 1 Interviews
    One of the many things that makes Ellis such a special place is the sisterhood that forms between Ellisians across generations. Help bridge the gap between the past and present for the next generation by joining the first grade for alumnae interviews. Share what Ellis was like during your years in the plaid as you flip through yearbooks and old photos with grade 1!
    2:00–3:00 p.m
    Open to all classes
    Limited to 20 people
    Computer Science 101 with Michele Lombardi
    Did you know that Ellis girls are programming robots, building their own iOS apps, and joining the national Girls Who Code movement on campus today?  Learn more about our innovative STEM curriculum from Computer Science Teacher Michele Lombardi’s very own, alumnae-centered crash course, Computer Science 101!
    3:00–4:00 p.m.
    Meet in Benjamin R. Fisher Gallery
    Open to all classes
    Welcome Back Campus Tour
    Led by Director of Development and Alumnae Engagement Carly REED Carstens '02, get the inside scoop on all things Ellis today from this lifer turned staffer! (And the answer is yes, she does sometimes partake in teacher snack!)
    5:30–8:00 p.m.
    Alumnae Hall
    Open to all classes
    Alumnae Reception
    Toast to a fabulous Reunion Weekend alongside fellow Ellis women, faculty members, and trustees at our Alumnae Reception on Friday night. Heavy appetizers and drinks will be served and alumnae are welcome to bring a guest.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Saturday’s events are all about bringing your family into the Ellis fold—make sure they pack their green and white! Introduce your partner, spouse, and children to campus as you cheer on the Varsity Field Hockey Team and create in the studio with Ellis Fine Arts faculty. When you pull on the Ellis paint-splattered apron, you’re sure to be transported back to your days in a clay-covered kilt! Alumnae know there’s no place like Ellis, and we think your family will agree.

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  • Saturday, October 13, 2018 | Schedule

    Time | Location
    Event | Description
    9:30–11:00 a.m.
    Benjamin R. Fisher Gallery
    Open to all classes and their families
    Coffee and Pastries
    It’s a family-friendly Saturday at Ellis! Join us for coffee & pastries Saturday morning after you walk Mellon Park or stroll the streets of Shadyside.  
    10:00–12:00 p.m.
    Fine Art Buildings
    Open to all classes and their families
    Art Workshop with Fine Arts Faculty
    Revisit your days in the studio and reawaken your creative side during the Art Workshop led by Fine Arts faculty. Create and make alongside your family as your reminisce about your days on campus.
    12:00–1:30 p.m.
    Athletic Field Parking Lot
    Open to all classes and their families
    Tailgate Lunch
    Order up! Enjoy lunch outside before the Tigers take the field.
    12:00–1:00 p.m.
    Arbuthnot House
    Open to all classes and their families
    Welcome Back Campus Tour
    Is your 1998 cast photo from the Upper School musical still hanging on the wall outside the Auditorium? Does the Oedipus statue have a new home? Find out on our last campus tour of the weekend.
    1:00  p.m.
    Ellis Athletic Field
    Open to all classes and their families
    Field Hockey Game
    Come cheer on the reigning WPIAL champs, the Ellis Field Hockey Team, as they battle it out on the field. The Tigers are on the prowl as they pursue their fifth consecutive WPIAL championship!
    3:00–4:00 p.m.
    Fred C. Babcock Library
    Open to all classes
    Alumnae Book Club Discussion
    Dr. Anna Redcay, Head of the English Department, will lead a discussion on Swing Time by Zadie Smith, a new addition to the senior required reading list. Alumnae are invited to read the book ahead of Reunion Weekend in preparation for the new Alumnae Book Club!
    Individual Activities
    Please contact your Class Reunion Representative for more information.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

To start your Sunday, relax at our morning yoga class and stretch it out alongside your best friends. After you find your zen, join Performing Arts Department Chair & Visual Arts Teacher Sara Sturdevant for a tour of the Carnegie International 57th exhibit at Carnegie Museum of Art. Rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit with us before you head home and back to reality!

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  • Sunday, October 14, 2018 | Schedule

    Time | Location
    Event | Description
    9:00–11:00 a.m.
    Outside the Paw Shop
    Open to all classes
    Coffee and Pastries
    Fuel up for the day ahead and have a cuppa on us before you check-out.
    10:00–11:00 a.m.
    Janet’s Gym
    Open to all classes 
    Find your zen and stretch it out at Sunday morning yoga. Bring your own mat if possible, a limited number will be available. Namaste!
    1:00–3:00 p.m.
    Carnegie Museum of Art
    Open to all classes
    Carnegie International 57th Edition Exhibit Tour
    Join Performing Arts Department Chair & Visual Arts Teacher Sara Sturdevant as she leads alumnae on a tour of the Carnegie International 57th exhibit alongside a current Ellis student.
    A limited number of complimentary tickets will be provided, registration required.

    For more information, click here.

Reunion Information

Frequently Asked Questions

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Award Recipients

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  • Athletics Hall of Fame

    Julianne CUTRUZZULA  Beil '03

    Julianne was a four-year varsity lacrosse player, four-year basketball player, and three-year field hockey player. Julianne served as Captain of the lacrosse team her junior & senior years and was a member of the first-ever Ellis basketball team to reach the playoffs.

    After graduating from Ellis, Julianne attended Franklin and Marshall College where she was a member of the Women's Lacrosse Team which won the 2007 NCAA National Championship. Her junior year, she volunteered to serve as the backup goalie for the team and helped the team earn a crucial victory against a ranked team, helping to position the team for a high seed in the NCAA tournament where it advanced to the elite eight round. Her senior year she received the team sportsmanship award for her dedication to the team and the sport.

    In addition to her time on the field as a player, Julianne coached lacrosse at Lancaster Country Day School in Lancaster, PA and at Flint Hill School in Oakton, Virginia.

    Dorothy (Didi) WITHEROW Dean '78

    Didi’s love of sports has always been a part of her life. When her three children were young, you could expect Didi to always volunteer as coach, whether it was softball, baseball, lacrosse, field hockey or basketball. Didi’s love of coaching started with her husband, when they coached their son’s youth baseball team together. She was a member of the youth athletic board in her area for years, part of a committee that started a field hockey program for her CYO, and a guiding force in starting the lacrosse program at her daughter’s high school. A true success, the lacrosse program began as a club team and quickly evolved into a varsity sport offering. Today, the program is thriving. Mrs. Vasser and Ellis fostered Didi’s love for sports and coaching. Didi was a member of the varsity field hockey, varsity basketball, and the first lacrosse team at Ellis remembering fondly only playing one other lacrosse team—Sewickley. She retired from coaching in January 2018 after coaching high school lacrosse and field hockey in the Cheltenham School District for 13 years.
  • Sara Frazer Ellis Award

    Peggy MATHIESON Conver ’73

    A graduate of the Class of 1973, Peggy MATHIESON Conver is the Chief Financial Officer at Fresh Artists and recently served as the Interim Director of Finance & Operations at The Ellis School for part of the 2016–2017 school year. Before that, Peggy served as a CPA and as the Business Manager at the Chestnut Hill Academy, a prominent K-12 independent school for boys in Philadelphia. She is also a former Ellis trustee and served on the Board from 2009 to 2016. Peggy has a B.S. in Business Administration from Bucknell University and is a stalwart supporter of single-sex education. Peggy is married to David W. Conver, a lawyer with Dischell Bartle Dooley law offices, and together they have an adult daughter, Caroline “C.C.” Conver.

Alumnae Career Panelists

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  • Jamie Beth COHEN '93

    Jamie Beth Cohen is a writer, storyteller, and community organizer who works in higher education. She writes about difficult things, but her friends think she’s funny. Her writing has appeared in, The Washington Post/On Parenting, Salon, and several other outlets. Her debut novel, WASTED PRETTY, a coming-of-age story about what happens when a girl who is used to blending in, starts to stick out, will be published by Black Rose Writing in April 2019.
  • Dr. Dara HALL Mendez '98

    Dr. Dara HALL Mendez ‘98 is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a social and perinatal epidemiologist who applies a variety of methods and approaches in her research related to the complex intersections between stress, racism, neighborhoods and contexts as key in understanding racial/ethnic inequities in pregnancy, birth and women’s health . Her work has been funded by the Aetna Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. In addition to her research , she serves as an executive member and research lead of the Infant Mortality Collaborative for Allegheny County and Advisory Board Member for Women Engaged, an organization dedicated to improving women’s health and advancing reproductive justice. Dara received her Ph.D. and M.P.H. in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and her B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology pre-med from Spelman College. She has three creative and busy children, Cairen, Adrah, and Leilani, and her partner is Dr. Jason C. Mendez, artist-scholar who conducts work in education equity.
  • Ginnae HARLEY '88

  • Susan HIGINBOTHAM Holcombe '58

    Susan HIGINBOTHAM Holcombe ‘58 is a professor emerita at Brandeis University. She taught a range of courses in the MA Program in Sustainable International Development at the Heller School at Brandeis. She is a former program director for Oxfam America and has served in program management positions with UNFPA, UNIFEM, and UNICEF in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Fiji, Sudan and China as well as in the New York headquarters. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College, earned a Master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. at New York University. She has published Managing to Empower about the management of Grameen Bank and Endogenous Development in Africa. She is co-editor of a forthcoming book that argues for new approaches to international development and sustainability.
  • Katerina ISTOMIN '03

    Lauded for her “special artistry,” Russian-American violist Katerina Istomin continues to establish herself as an international performer and educator. As principal of the Juilliard orchestra and the New World Symphony, Katerina has performed under notable conductors such as Michael Tilson-Thomas, Manfred Honeck, and John Adams. As a soloist and ensemble musician, Ms. Istomin has toured throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Recognized for her powerful effect on young musicians, Ms. Istomin has developed a commitment to bringing music to underserved areas through music education and community outreach. She has worked as a fellow with the Music Advancement and Gluck Community Service programs at the Juilliard School and as a teaching artist in Medellin, Colombia with the New World Symphony. Katerina earned her Bachelor’s of Music degree from The Juilliard School and her Master of Music degree from the University of Montreal and the Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria. Katerina is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology at Carlow University with an emphasis on Pediatric Neuropsychology and Family Therapy. Dedicated to holistic wellness on and off the stage, Katerina is also a certified yoga instructor.
  • Kate Schüler-WALSH '08

    Kate Schüler-WALSH’s (08) interests and experience lie at the nexus between national security and cultural affairs. After graduating Ellis in 2008, Kate attended undergrad at the University of St Andrews in Scotland where she obtained dual degrees in Social Anthropology and Arabic. She then moved to Amman, Jordan, where volunteered with Syrian refugees and worked at an NGO focused on community empowerment and sustainable economic growth. Prior to attending graduate school, Kate worked as a researcher on Middle Eastern security issues at a DC-based think tank and supported the implementation of USG programming in conflict zones. Kate received a Masters Degree in Security Studies (with honors) from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service where she concentrated in terrorism and sub-state violence.  After receiving her MA, Kate worked at a technology firm where she developed analytical approaches for identifying illicit activity on the deep web. Currently, Kate works at the New York County District Attorney’s Office where she investigates antiquities trafficking and works to repatriate stolen and looted artifacts to their rightful owners.

Class Representatives

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A block of rooms has been reserved at Springhill Suites, Bakery Square for Thursday, October 11 to Sunday, October 14 at a discounted rate.

Make your reservation online or call 412-362-8600 to reserve your room. When booking, please note that you are part of The Ellis School for a discounted rate.

Connect & Communicate With Us

Update your contact information to connect and communicate with Ellis all year long. From our alumnae newsletter and private Alumnae Facebook group, to the Ellis Magazine and Ellis Alumnae Connect, we want you to say in the know on all things Ellis. We’re also posting, tweeting, and Instagramming campus life seven days a week so give us a follow, like, or retweet next time you’re browsing your feeds!

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