Sunday, June 7, 2015

The 209 class gift

The following letter was sent to the GHS Alumni Association on behalf of the generous 209. Although the letter lists $13,000 as the class gift total, contributions have continued to trickle in since the letter was sent, and the final total is not yet available.
Shout on high the ringing praises,
Loyal, strong and true.
Bring we to our Alma Mater
Trust and honor due;
Other off'rings have we none,
Save our love for thee;
Then accept this one oblation,
Our fidelity.


Ms. Toni Bailey Nottingham
President, Alumnae Association
Philadelphia High School for Girls

Dear Toni:

Despite the chronic crisis in public school funding, graduating from our beloved Alma Mater remains an honor and a privilege thanks to the strong leadership of Principal Dr. Parthenia Moore, the loyalty of the faculty, bright students who care - and a devoted Alumnae Association.

As we prepared for our 50th Reunion, members of the 209th Graduating Class were delighted to learn that choral music remains a cherished GHS tradition. But we were deeply saddened to hear that the Carol Assembly was cancelled this year because the school budget could no longer stretch to cover faculty overtime for after-school enrichment activities. A silent Treble Clef? Unthinkable!

We were therefore determined to raise a substantial gift - setting our goal at 209 times 50 years. When they were asked to demonstrate their devotion to the school, our classmates' generosity far exceeded expectations. These women still care deeply about Girls High, and proved it!

Please, 'then, accept this one oblation', our Class Gift of ($13,000). We give this sum with the intent that it be used to launch a Fund specifically dedicated to underwrite expenses associated with Treble Clef, including faculty overtime for Rehearsals.

To all of you who care so much, we send our sincere thanks for your dedication and commitment to the school. We salute you for all the work you do. Please believe members of the 209 continue to support you and sincerely wish to see those efforts crowned with success.

Most cordially,

Linda Lieberman Dennery
Class of June '65, the 209th Graduating Class

11 May 2015
cc Dr. Parthenia Moore, Principal, Philadelphia High School for Girls

Thursday, June 4, 2015

When We Were at GHS

The following historical review of 1961 to 1965 was contributed by Marlene Jackson Jones; Marlene presented it at the reunion luncheon. She excerpted it from a much longer version that you can read by clicking here, or by using the '61 to '65 tab on the home page.

I guess we could borrow the opening line from “A Tale of Two Cities” and say “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” and it was our time at Girls High! The years 1961 to 1965 were full of historically and sociologically significant events. During these years we were changing the world. Things were turbulent and jubilant at the same time. Were you present and accounted for or was the world passing you by. It was a little bit of both for me.

I thought I would share with you just a few of the events that occurred in order to put our years at Girls’ High in context.

The Civil Rights movement was really gaining momentum.
  • United States Freedom Riders began interstate bus rides to test the new United States Supreme Court integration decision.
  • The first black student, James Meredith, registered at the University of Mississippi, escorted by Federal Marshals.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to an audience of at least 250,000, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and later there was the march from Selma to Montgomery.
The Arts were exploding:
  • Artists like the Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Motown Artists like the Supremes, Little Stevie Wonder and The Temptations burst onto the scene changing the world of music forever. 
  • Andy Warhol premiered his Campbell's Soup Cans exhibit in Los Angeles. 
  • Rudolf Nureyev the famed ballet artist defected so that we could fully enjoy his artistry.
  • We were in a race in space. Not only were the first manned space missions accomplished but the first satellites were launched that we depend on so much today.
Sports were exciting: 
  • Jim Bunting and Sandy Koufax were “perfect”.
  • Roger Maris hit 61 homeruns
  • And the Phillies almost made it!
  • Cassius Clay aka Mohamed Ali was Champ and controversial.
  • Politically we had “Camelot”, The Bay of Pigs, The Cold War …
  • The world was changing in so many ways. We had the best and the worst. Who of us will ever forget where we were when we learned that our President John Kennedy had been killed. We were at Girls High. The emotions still rise. Then later to see his accused assassin killed right before our eyes on TV.
These years were the foundation for where we are today in so many ways. The fifty years that have passed have been significant. The world still needs changing. Are we up for the challenge?

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Gail Weinstein's Commencement Address

At the reunion, Gail Weinstein reprised her GHS 209 Commencement Address. Here's a copy of the original!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Photos are arriving

Keep checking the photo page for new photos from the reunion! There have been several recent new slideshow uploads.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Make our class gift count! Please give!

You won't be surprised to hear that choral music remains a beloved GHS tradition — but there was no Carol Assembly this year; the voice of Treble Clef was silenced. Why? Because the school budget will no longer stretch to cover faculty overtime for after-school enrichment activities.

Wasn't it often those very same enrichment programs that actually defined the GHS experience?
The 209 was always an extraordinary class. Let's prove we haven't lost our touch!
You - yes, every one of us - can help bring that glorious music back to life.  The 209's Class Gift to the school will be used to underwrite Treble Clef Rehearsals for many, many months to come.

Our Goal is to raise $10,450 - that's 209 times 50 years! If we meet our goal, our gift will be the largest ever to the school. We're well on our way, having raised over $7,500. But we need more. And we really need your help to get us there. Even if you were unable to attend the 50th Reunion, your commitment to Girls High and our class is needed.

With warmest regards to all,
Linda Lieberman Dennery

Click on the "class gift" tab above to read more!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The fabulous 209 50th reunion

Someone told me Mary started working on the reunion three years ago, and if you were there, you probably don't doubt that it took that long for Mary and the reunion committee to create such an exceptional event. It was a three-day celebration of the fabulous 209. I can hardly describe my gleeful reaction to our reunion weekend, and the deficit I felt after having to say goodbye. I can't wait until the next one! There's a new tab at the top of the page where you can click to leave a comment or two about your reactions to our 50th reunion. As we used to say, "let it all hang out!"

Friday, April 17, 2015

There will be SKYPE-ing!

Dear 209’ers:

The 50th Reunion is soon upon us. And I will join many of you who are looking forward to getting together.

For classmates who cannot attend, we will set aside times to SKYPE into the April 25th luncheon. You would need to be available on Saturday, April 25th from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Saving time!).

If you wish to join us by SKYPE, please send the following information to Pauline Schwartz at by Tuesday, April 21: Name, SKYPE address and email address.

We will try to accommodate as many classmates as possible with the time slots and computers available.

All the best,
Pauline Schwartz
On behalf of the Organizing Committee

Reunion updates and details

Dear Classmates,
Here is additional information about the reunion events on Saturday 25 April. All events are either at the Ritz Hotel or within walking distance of the Ritz.
  • LUNCHEON 12-4 p.m. Ritz Carlton Hotel
  • Valet Parking at the Ritz: any time period during the day $27 (plus tax); overnight $41 (plus tax). For other options, Google “Parking near 10 Avenue of the Arts, Phila.”
  • The luncheon will be held in the Petit Ballroom on the 2nd floor. As you enter the hotel lobby, look for the registration area on the right and beyond it there are stairs and an elevator going directly to the Ballroom.
  • There will be Skyping with classmates who cannot be at the luncheon. If you wish to participate, we will have computers set up for you to talk and see them from noon to 12:45 p.m. Plan to be there a little early to sign on.
  • Registration will be set up in the foyer in front of the Petit Ballroom, 2nd floor. Please sign in and get your name badge and additional written information depending on what other events you may have signed up for on your RSVP.
  • Dietary restrictions you reported on your RSVP have been communicated to the hotel kitchen. Identify yourself and your needs to your server at the luncheon table.
  • Cocktail Party will be held at classmate Emmy Salzman Cooke’s house from 6—8 p.m. For those of you who RSVPed you were coming to the party, you will receive walking or parking instructions when you register at the luncheon.
  • Dinner reservations at a group of nearby restaurants can be arranged by calling at least three days ahead to the hotel concierge at 215.523.8212.
  • After Party will be held from 8—10 p.m. in an area reserved for our group in the Lobby of the Ritz Hotel. Snacks and drinks are available at their cash bar.

Questions? Call Linda Klevit Hahn at 215.413.2232 or email Mary Cogan Frankel at See you soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Last minute update

Here is one of the last updates concerning our 50th reunion, April 24—26.

The Ritz Carlton has extended the deadline for rooms at the group discount to Friday 10 April. After that date, all remaining rooms in the block will be released. Take advantage of this opportunity if you have not already. Details on how to reserve online or over the telephone are on our website:

For those of you who are coming, advance reservations for dinner on Saturday are recommended as the city will be jumping with activity. The concierge at the Ritz Carlton has made tentative reservations at 6:30 pm on Saturday for tables of four and six guests in advance at a variety of restaurants (cuisine and price) within walking distance of the hotel.

For 4
Alma De Cuba
Marathon Grill

For 6
Barclay Prime
Raw Sushi and Sake

Contact a few classmates, make a plan and call it in to the concierge at the direct number: 215-523-8212. You can discuss the choices he made or ask for a specific restaurant you prefer for any number of guests at any time. All your wishes will be handled. The tentative reservations made by the concierge for our group will be released if not taken by Wednesday 22 April.

That’s all for now. The plans are in place and the facilities are fantastic. Many pleasures and surprises are in store for the weekend. Our group is over 100 strong! To whet your appetite, here are a few pictures from past reunions (thanks to Gwen Gay Williams):

We can sneak in a few more classmates in the next couple weeks if your calendar has miraculously opened up. Join us.
Questions? Call Linda Klevit Hahn at 215.530.7151 
or email Mary Cogan Frankel at
See you soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Historic Opportunity!

The reunion committee is looking for a 209er who might be a history buff, to put together a short synopsis of the main historical events that took place from 1961 to 1965, to share with us at the reunion. We have a volunteer who has agreed to create a 60s music compilation, and if we could round out the program with a brief history review, that would be a gas, a blast, far out, hip, keen, neat and cool! Please contact Mary Cogan Frankel if you'd like to volunteer. You could also send a note using the form on the home page. Thanks!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Girls High Girls!

Thanks to Gwen Gay Williams.

Gwen Gay Williams has generously offered to make name tags for the reunion luncheon — complete with each of our photos from the yearbook along with our name and the event, 50th year reunion, and the dates. Many people had suggested that we do it but no one wanted to take on the task until Gwen offered without even being asked. Above is a collection of the tags she has finished for class members who have registered.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Deadline for registration extended

Dear 209ers,
It is early March and there is still time to RSVP that you are coming to our 50th reunion, from Friday April 24 through Sunday 26, 2015 in center city Philadelphia. The weekend is full of activities with time to reunite with classmates coming together from around the country and around the world.
  • Friday is a visit to our alma mater on Broad Street to see the Winged Victory still standing and meet with the principal.
  • Saturday afternoon is the big event, the reunion luncheon at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, sharing a meal and the afternoon with the entire group.
  • Saturday evening is more relaxed with informal get-togethers at classmates’ homes in center city.
  • Sunday is a pay-your-own-way brunch at the Bourse Building in Olde City prior to guided museum tours of either the African American Museum or the Jewish Museum, both nearby.
  • The RSVP deadline is being extended until the end of March to accommodate all comers. But please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly.
  • The Ritz Carlton Hotel has expanded our room reservation block for both Friday and Saturday nights at our group’s discounted rate of $249. If you tried before to reserve and could not, try again. But do it soon as when these rooms are committed there will be no more at this rate. The rate is only available until March 25, assuming there are rooms left by that date.
A robust group of classmates have already signed on, and more are letting us know that they are on their way. The RSVP deadline is being extended until the end of March to accommodate all comers. But please let us know as soon as possible so we can plan accordingly.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New slide show!

Gwen Williams has provided 65 photos from previous reunions, and I added five of my photos, to create a slideshow. You can see it by clicking on the photos tab above.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

50th Reunion Invitation

The official invitation to the class of 209 Girls High 50th reunion has been emailed to all class members for whom we have email addresses, and post cards will be going out to those for whom we have only a mailing address. A copy of the invitation is also now posted here on the blog, and can be found by clicking the invitation tab above. There are other important pages to view including reunion activities, booking info, RSVP and class gift.

All of the reunion materials are available to print. You can find printable PDF files by clicking here.

Most important is the RSVP form which must be completed and returned by March 1, 2015.

Please join your classmates for this milestone event! And don't forget to let people know you're coming by clicking the who's coming tab above, and leaving a comment!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Leaving comments on the blog

There hasn't been much use of the blog for communicating and sharing among our 209 classmates. Comments from classmates are warmly welcomed, but not everyone is familiar with the mechanics of leaving comments, and the process may seem overly complicated when really it's not. I'm posting a few guidelines to try to make the process more clear. To get started, look in the blue rectangle below any post on any page for the word "comments." If yours is the first, it will say, "no comments." Click on it.

First, choose an identity.
You first need to claim some sort of an identity to leave a comment. You can either be already signed into an approved account (like Google) or you can leave a comment anonymously, without signing in. If you choose 'anonymous', that will be the heading on your comment, rather than your name. You should include your real name in your comment, of course, so we know who you are! (If you want to sign into one of the listed accounts, you should do it before selecting it from the drop-down list and writing your comment.)

Using the anonymous setting means you don't have to have an account with any of the listed services in order to leave a comment. However, if you use one of the accounts in the drop-down list, it's possible to have your name link to your account so people can contact you.

Because spam is such a problem on blogs and Web site comment forums, devices are in place to prevent mass spam attacks, and you will be asked to prove you are not a spam robot. You will be presented with a symbol (like a circle or square, for example) to click, or letters or numbers to type into a box. This is called a CAPTCHA (an acronym for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart"). Presumably, only humans, and not spam-spewing robots, can perform these tasks. (In the case of letters/numbers, they can sometimes be hard to read. There is a curved arrow to click on to get a different set of letters/numbers. Click on it until you get a set that you like.)

Once you compose your comment, you can preview the comment before submitting it. If you approve of what you see, publish your comment for all of us to read.

It takes much longer to read about commenting then actually doing it — it's easy!