The Best of Lucky

SUWC kicks off the New Year with an Italian Wine Party on Sunday, January 21. We will all raise our glasses to honor Lucky and Walt Harrison, for hosting many past wine tastings. Our club has been fortunate to have Lucky as a member for more than 50 years. Lucky served as co-President with Margaret Green in 2004-2006. She drove to Stanford, from Schenectady, New York, in 1965, with her husband and four young boys. They moved into their house on San Francisco Court — the site of many good tastes and toasts. Lucky recalls it was an exciting time when Stanford was growing quickly and there were 300 new families on campus. Her street had more than 30 kids. At the invitation of her neighbor, Barbara Hultgren, she promptly joined SUWC and the PTA.

Lucky & Walt Harrison

Lucky has been especially supportive of children in many ways. Before getting married she taught first grade after getting a Master’s degree at Cornell, thanks to a surprising Ford Foundation Fellowship. She served as a docent at the Cantor Art Center for over 35 years including the ten years when the museum was closed after the 1989 earthquake. Docents visited schools to teach art. Over fifty years ago, she started having a Fourth of July parade in her neighborhood, featuring children on their decorated bikes and trikes and followed by treats and drinks. This parade still happens annually and draws families together.   And in case you wondered, her parents named her Lucille.  She got the name “Lucky” at a sleep away camp when she was ten. Her favorite wine is a Sauvignon Blanc.

Happy 101st Birthday to Margaret

Happy 101th Birthday to Margaret Weissenbuth!     

Some things are so good they are worth repeating!  Join me in wishing Margaret a very happy happy 101st birthday.   She is pictured here with my daughters Allison and Rachael and her neighbor Linda.   Her home was filled today with family and friends.

Margaret was born December 30th, 1916.      This incredible woman joined SUWC when she came to Stanford  in 1950 with her husband Mitchell Weissbluth, a physicist that helped create the first medical linear accelerator.   Two SUWC members Haillie Spurr (1946) and Eda Luck (1947) have been in our club longer.     Margaret taught elementary school children for many years until she retired in 1983.  In the summer you may find her at the Stanford Campus Recreation Center pool where she has been swimming since it opened 1962.  Helen Lieberman and Margaret are both charter members of SCRA.  Margaret welcomes visitors at her home on Pine Hill Road.   She enjoys SUWC club activities as well as Scrabble, crosswords, going out to lunch and daily walks.   You can find her contact info in the RedBook to make a date with her.  She inspires us with her curiosity, knowledge and energy.

Meet our Members: Florence de Bretagne


Florence joined our club in 2013 after being introduced by Joan Mansour and Betty Cohen.  She enjoys being part of the French Conversation, Great Decisions and Chop Chop (hands-on cooking) sections. After studying painting and photography in Paris 25 years ago, Florence moved to the Bay area with her family 12 years ago.  She describes her paintings as full of life and joy.  She shared “My enchanted gardens are filled with beautiful flowers and fruitful seeds. I also represent emblematic animals like roosters, peacocks, owls or butterflies. I am passionate about bringing joy and hope through painting into our troubled world.”  Besides her studio work, she has been painting about 80 murals at low income schools, from South San Francisco, to East Palo Alto, San Jose and more, in the past 7 years. If you stop by Cafe Borrone you will see her latest paintings exhibited in December.

Paintings by Florence

If you know another interesting member that you would like to see profiled, please contact Audrey Gold.

Shamisen, Kimonos and Dance

Music as been a popular section for decades.   Trudy Roughgarden joined SUWC in 1972, and as a pianist herself, was attracted to this group.  From 1987 – 2009 she co-chaired with Sylvia Whitcher and now she leads it on her own.

Trudy shared the music section is influenced by world events.  She remembers meeting in 2001 shortly after 9/11 and how they were consoled by lovely music.       All performers generously donate their time and club members host at their homes.

Recently, the music section had an especially nice event with guests from Japan.   Talented SUWC member Junko Nakauchi played the shamisen, Saeko Araki sang and Suzu Kajiwara danced.

Following the performances there was a beautiful fashion show with commentary about the history of the kimono and the different types of kimonos by Kyoko Shiratori.  Guests also enjoyed a short talk by Zen monk Jiun Akamatsu.

If you are interested in learning more about Japanese music and dance more please contact Junko.  Her information is in the RedBook.   She teaches Nagauta-Shamisen at her home and can also connect you with Japanese Traditional Dancers.

Please see the club’s monthly newsletter to learn about the next meeting of the Music Section.   Thank you Trudy for all the you do to share music with us.

Meeting our Members – Molly Agras

One of the best reasons to join SUWC is all the interesting women you may meet from our community. Many have lived and traveled around the world including Molly Agras. Molly has been a member for more than 40 years. Her friend Sunny Scott describes her as a “power house of inter-connectivity.”

When her husband joined the Medical School Faculty in 1972, Molly came to Stanford via the U.K having left Great Britain in 1956. For about five years, she served as President of the Medical Wives’ Club which dissolved in the late 70’s. Molly has been an entrepreneur for most of her life. She owned and managed “Courtyard Collection” in downtown Palo Alto, from 1977–1995, where she sold imported furnishings, art and textiles. A particular focus was the flat woven rugs called Kilims. She recalls fondly that there were many small businesses being run by local women. Molly traveled the globe including Europe and Eastern Asia to collect goods. Her talent for interior design led to more work after the shop closed.

Later in life Molly found a passion for jewelry making. She calls her style “classic ethnic” where she incorporates tribal silver with incredibly beautiful beads from many countries.  Molly personally invites you to come check out her lovely pieces at a benefit being held at Sunny’s campus home (610 Gerona Road) on Friday & Saturday, November 3 & 4, from 3-5 pm. All profits support worthy causes including the Ecumenical Hunger Program and other not for profit organizations.

If you know another interesting member that you would like to see profiled, please contact Audrey Gold.

Fish Raincoats: A Woman Lawyer’s Life

Author’s Coffee: Thursday, October 19th at 1:30 pm

We are honored to begin our Author’s Coffee section with Professor Barbara Babcock sharing her memoir Fish Raincoats: A Woman Lawyer’s Life.  Professor Babcock was the first female Stanford law professor, the first director of the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, one of the first women to be an Assistant Attorney General of the United States, and the biographer of California’s first woman lawyer, Clara Foltz. Survivor, pioneer, leader, and fervent defender of the powerless and colorful mobsters alike, Barbara Babcock led by example and by the written word. Her books will be available for purchase at the meeting.  Please check the Preview newsletter or contact Teresa Judd for the address of this event which will be held at a home on campus.   Teresa reports  “I have heard Professor Babcock speak and can promise you a fascinating afternoon on Thursday, October 19th, at 1:30 pm”    We appreciate Teresa and Andrea Van Niekerk organizing this opportunity.

A Fond Farewell to Nancy Creger

The French Conversation Group bids a fond farewell to Nancy Creger, who passed away on August 17 at the age of 92. Nancy was the beloved leader of the French Conversation Group for a half-century. Under her leadership, the group grew to be one of the most popular sections of the SUWC, meeting every week during the academic year. Nancy and her late husband, William Creger of the Medical School, bought their house on Cabrillo Ave in 1956, and for many years they hosted a “Déjeuner sous les arbres” for the group every spring on their shade-dappled patio.

Before Nancy took the helm, our group was not as organized as now, and members even spoke English! Nancy was very disciplined and encouraged everyone to not only socialize but also make an effort to improve their French. The format Nancy established continues to this day, with a half-hour of socializing over coffee, followed by an hour of conversation in French. We’ve formed many friendships and also improved our French-speaking skills.

The first quarter-century of Nancy’s tenure, before computers were such an integral part of our lives, Nancy used to write out the membership list in beautiful calligraphy. Nancy was always welcoming and charming, and she always had a smile on her face; we never heard a complaint or any negativity. We always admired her serenity and aspire to age as gracefully as she did.

Nancy Creger

Understanding the Middle East

While we wait for our own programs to be announced,  we have been invited to join the Stanford Women’s Club of San Francisco for their 2017 Three-Part Fall Lecture Series:

Understanding the Middle East

September 19, 2017:  An evening with Dr. Ahmad Ghoreishi
“Islam, Politics and Conflict in the Middle East”

October 3, 2017:  An evening with Stanford Professor Abbas Milani
“Aesthetics as Dissent”

November 2, 2017:  A morning with Social Entrepreneur Humaira Ghilzai “My Pilgrimage to Mecca as a Secular Woman”

For details click here  Flyer Fall Lecture Series Understanding the Middle East 

Greetings from your Presidents

The Womens’ Club was founded in 1896 by Jessie Knight Jordan. The first meeting was at her home on campus. Today, SUWC is 121 years strong and still shares the ideals of our founders. We are proud of our part in the history of Stanford University. In support roles, our members have contributed much to the growth of the faculty, helped bring new families to the campus and welcomed them to the Stanford community.

We have retained our traditional values by sharing cultural activities and promoting friendship. We are always evaluating our programs and making changes to reflect current interests. This year we have new sections focused on “Your Health” and “Teen Horizons.”

Please enjoy our full schedule of activities including art, music, talks by faculty members, and parties in the lovely gardens of campus homes.  Details will be announced in the Preview newsletter. As always, all the work of keeping the club going is done by the volunteers.

Club members are traditionally welcomed back at the Hoover House in the fall.  Membership information and invites will be mailed soon.

Ellen McLennan & Ronna Widrow
Co-Presidents 2017-18