M.I. Bunting Institute Celebrates 35th Year

Weekend Festivities to Reunite Alumnae

Celebrating 35 years of women's scholarship, Radcliffe's Bunting Institute begins a three-day reunion for its former fellows today.

The Institute, which hosts about 40 female fellows each year for advanced multidisciplinary study, was the brainchild of former Radcliffe president Mary I. Burnting-Smith, who will speak at the reunion's opening event.

"It's primarily a celebrated 35th anniversary, to give the people a chance to come back and be with each other and review what they have done since they left the Bunting Institute in several broad fields," said Linda S. Wilson, president of Radcliffe.

Bunting Fellows, who often refer to themselves as "Sister Fellows," present a colloquium each week and often mentor students in Radcliffe Research Partnerships.

"Part of the magic is the drawing together of prima donnas who discover how hard it is to talk to people outside of your field and how mind-enlarging it is," Wilson said. "It really makes people's brains spin in different ways."


Panels and performances during the course of the reunion weekend will feature current and former fellows, including pianist Veronica Jochum Von Moltke, who will perform works of Clara Schumann tonight.

Reflecting the diversity of fields studied at the Institute, the reunion weekend will include panels on science, women in academia, social justice and the arts.

A discussion tomorrow on "Science and Creativity" will feature several scientific fellows, including marine biologist Sylvia Earle, a Bunting Fellow from 1968-69.

In addition, Graduate School of Education Professor Carol Gilligan, a Bunting Fellow in 1982-83, and other alumnae in academia will discuss the issue of women in universities.

To showcase the work of Bunting Fellows during the reunion, Widener Library is mounting an exhibition of their published works.

Books on display in Widener's main lobby include a collection of essays titled Anti-Feminism in the Academy, edited by Margaret Higonnet, and No Ivory Tower: McCarthyism in the Universities, by Ellen W. Schrecker.

Other topics range from history--Anne Sexton: A Biography, by Diane W. Middlebrook--to fiction. The exhibit features, among other novels, the best-selling The Liar's Club, by the Institute's director, Florence Ladd, who will step down at the end of this year.

A sculpture installation titled "Attention's Loop," by 1996-97 Bunting Fellow Elizabeth King, will also be on exhibit at the Institute throughout the weekend.

Several prominent alumnae will attend the reunion, including former Black Panther Kathleen N. Cleaver, who now works as a social activist, and author Gish Jen '77, who wrote the novel Typical American while a Bunting Fellow.

"There is no place in America that has enabled so many women to make such a difference in the world," Jen said in a statement