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Hello Hornets!

Here are some items that might be of interest:

1.  ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT TO MAKE RARE D.C. APPEARANCE.  Gordon Hawkins (76), international opera star and 2002 Foundation Achievement Award recipient, will make a rare D.C. appearance on Sunday May 18, at 4 p.m., at the Washington National Cathedral, joining the Cathedral Choral Society.  Information is available at 202-537‑5527 or  (Look in the North balcony for a nice contingent of Surratts faculty/former faculty!)  I hope many of you will be able to attend that event.

2.  CLASS OF 48 FIFTY-FIVE YEAR REUNION.  The great Class of 48 has announced plans for its 55 year reunion, to be held on May 17, 2003 at the Holiday Inn in Waldorf.  If you have any information on members of the Class of 48 (or on relatives of members of the Class of 48), please contact Virginia Redd at 301-843-3116.

3.  CLASS OF 73 THIRTY YEAR REUNION.  Donna (Mitchell) Ashby,, Class of 73 ORC, is working to update her files with current information on her classmates, in connection with planning for the Class of 73's 30 year reunion.  All 73 grads should check-in with Donna, and she would appreciate any information any of you have on 73 grads or family members of 73 grads.  Please send a copy of your email to Neal Dawson,, who is compiling the reunion email master list.  (Donna asks that emailers put "73 Reunion" in the subject line of their emails.)

4.  CLASS OF 91 ANNOUNCES REUNION EFFORT.  I received this email from Allisha Ellis,  "Hi Henry:  Could you please announce in an e-Notice that there is a new on-line, free Reunion Group in ICQ for the Class of 1991?  The URL is: .  Thanks,  Allisha"

5.  FOUNDATION ACQUIRES NEEDED TYPEWRITERS.  The School recently asked the Foundation to help it acquire two electric typewriters (remember those things?) needed by students to type non-online college applications.  Thanks to the efforts of Alex Smith (son of yours truly and Donna Rae Sturtevant Smith (70)), who acquired the typewriters from the surplus shop at the University of MD, and to Marcia Norcia (70), who hauled the typewriters to the School, they're currently being used by students to complete their college applications.  Although the Foundation's big efforts (like the recent $200,000 computer upgrade) get the big publicity, the Foundation's smaller efforts like this one also make a real difference at the School.

6.  MEMORY FUND MAKES LATEST GRANT.  The Foundation's Principals/Faculty/Staff Memory Fund also made a grant last month to assist a current Surratts student who was selected to study dance with choreographer Chris Judd.  (This important Foundation Fund helps current Surratts students who have a particular financial need in connection with their educational goals and aspirations.  A full description of the Fund can be found at the Foundation's web site at  Like the typewriter gifts discussed above, the small grants from this Fund can make a real difference for Surrattsville students.

7.  57 GRAD FEATURED IN UMD MAGAZINE.  Nancy Loweth Siehl (57) sent me this interesting email:  "Dear Henry:  This item about Donna Drevenak Mitroff (57) was in the Fall issue of 'College Park,' the University of Maryland alumni magazine.  "Donna Drevenak Mitroff, ARHU, has been named president of Mediascope, a national nonprofit research and education organization working to promote social issues through media.  Mitroff will oversee Mediascope's current campaigns and develop new business proposals, in addition to managing daily functions at the organization's headquarters in Studio City, CA.  Before joining Mediascope, Mitroff served as a senior vice president at Fox Family Worldwide.  She is also an adjunct professor teaching issues in children's media at the Annenberg School of Communication at USC."  Congratulations to Donna!

8.  ANOTHER HORNET REVIVES A LONG-LOST HOBBY.  I received this exceedingly cool e-mail from Ann Weaver Pelle (71), which might inspire some of you to reach back and revive some of your long-lost hobbies!  "Hi Henry:  I just wanted to send you the attached headlines and picture from today's newspaper.  I was a little surprised that the picture was on the front page!  I am really having fun getting back into twirling.  Most of us in the group really haven't forgotten anything; we're just a little rusty.  We will have a full corps up and running (or marching) in the parades and presenting exhibitions at polo matches starting in the fall.  We range in age from about 50ish (me) to well over 65!  We're looking for drummers now!!  So it just goes to show you that you can still do all the fun things you used to do if you just try.  I was a little afraid to get back into it,as were most of the rest of the ladies.  But as it turns out, we can all do it with a little of help and support from the others.  Ann"

Way to go Ann!  (Thanks to webmaster Mike Gifford (84), the photo referenced in Ann's email now appears on the Foundation's web site at

9.  MORE THOUGHTS ON THE COLUMBIA TRAGEDY.  I received this provocative email from Linda Shifflett (71):  "Hi, Henry: Saw the item about Columbia in the last e-Notice and wanted to add this.  One of my co‑workers and fellow students here at the Univ. of TX at Arlington, Doug Maples, is majoring in Communications/Radio and hosts a weekly morning show on the UTA internet radio.  He set up a telephone interview for February 17 with Dr. Kalpana Chawla, a UTA grad and one of the Columbia astronauts. I was to be a co‑host on the show and participate in the interview.  Because of the tragedy Doug had to instead do a memorial program on that day.  People tuned in from all over the world including India, Israel, and Japan, and it was the highest listener count ever for the station.  Reporters from the NY Times, USA Today, National Geographic, and all the major networks called to interview him because he had spoken with Dr. Chawla earlier and had personal reflections to contribute.  This was during the time after the accident when contact with family members was not as available, because they were in mourning.  He looked on it as helping deflect some of the media hype off of them during that difficult period.  Doug lives south of DFW outside of Cleburne, and pieces of Columbia including part of a glove were found on his family's property.  The impact of the sound of the breakup of Columbia knocked pictures off of the wall in his house.  Here in our office (Development) we were able to watch the memorial service in Houston on February 4th on a TV link in the Engineering building, without the network voice‑over, so it was much more reverent without all the media prattle.   A couple of students working in the 24‑hour computer center where students do school work put out sheets of paper for students to sign commemorating the Columbia astronauts, and hundreds signed it on more than 20 sheets.  There was a memorial service here at UTA in the Engineering building, and a candlelight service.  Dr. Chawla, a native of India and American citizen, got her Masters in Aeronautical Engineering here, and the more than 1,200 Indian UTA students comprise 40% of and are the largest group of international students.  They considered her an 'inspiration' and were quite appreciative of the respect and honor shown her during the period after the tragedy... Linda"

10.  GET WELL WISHES TO ALUMNI.  We send out our thoughts and prayers to Mike Stojka (71) who has recently been diagnosed with liver cancer.  Mike is a pancreatic cancer survivor, and we're hopeful that his fighting spirit will help him win this latest battle.  (Mike is married to Pam Housden Stojka (86).)

We also send out our thoughts and prayers to Kelly Ellis Hayden (82), a former Surratts all star softball pitcher, who recently underwent surgery for breast cancer and who has just started chemotherapy.  (You may recall an item in the last e-Notice concerning a cancer fund raiser, the Relay for Life,  that Kelly's sister, Kim Ellis King (76),, is involved with.  Donation checks, payable to American Cancer Society, may be sent to 13997 Wetherburn Street, Waldorf, Maryland 20601.)

11.  CLASS OF 83 REUNION INQUIRY.  Donna Haffer (83),, is wondering if anyone has heard anything about an upcoming 20 year Class of 83 reunion.

12.  ALUM REACHES COACHING MILESTONE.  I received this email for Rick "Smitty" Smith (71):  "Hi Henry:  I wanted to pass on some information for the e-Notice. Hornet Dennis Felton, basketball coach at Western KY (my daughter's alma mater), just won his 100th game along with a third consecutive Sun Belt Conference Championship, qualifying for the NCAA tournament.  Smitty"   Congratulations to Dennis on another coaching milestone!  The great State champs from the Class of 65 must be proud!

13.  ALUM'S ART FEATURED AT ALEXANDRIA SHOW.  I just learned that the recent work of perhaps Surratts' most accomplished painter, Kevin Fitzgerald (71), is being featured at a show at the a Principle Gallery at 208 King Street in Alexandria through April 11.  Kevin's work is stunningly beautiful and always moving and thought-provoking.  Info about hours and the like is available from the Gallery at 703-739-9326.

14.  CLASS OF 90 MEMORABILIA.  The Foundation has acquired a box of Class of 90 commemorative parfait glasses for sale for the price of shipping and handling.  Please let me know if you're interested.


I hope your crocuses and your spirits are blooming!

Best regards,  Henry Smith (71),



JOAN P. DODSON died on December 26, 2002.  Joan was the mother of Surratts grads Collette (Dodson) Myers, Darlene (Dodson) Bayne, Arlen Dodson, Cheryl (Dodson) France and Melinda (Dodson) Boyd and the mother‑in‑law of Surratts grads Dan Bayne and Brett Boyd.

NICK VANDEVEERDONK ("Mr. V"), who was a much-loved security guard at Surratts for approximately 10 years, died on March 15.  Mr. V was loved by many in the Surrattsville community.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kidney Foundation.

BILL "WILLIE" FARRELL, an "honorary Hornet," died on March 21.  Mark Fields (71) was kind enough to send these recollections of Willie:  Willie attended Gwyn Park High School and then entered the Army for a tour in Viet Nam. Upon his return he became a founding member and bass player of Slow Rush, a group very well known at Surratts.  He played with other groups before starting the Half Moon Band with Hornets Jimi Simon and Billy Weir. The Half Moon Band merged with the original Harvey Hubcap Show in 1975 to form The Southern Maryland Band featuring Harvey Hubcap, later to be known as The Hubcaps.  He and his wife Kathy (Kathy replaced Mike "Spider" Kirk, Surrattsville alumni, in 1981 on saxophone) left the Hubcaps sometime around 1990 to form Kathy and the Hot Rods another successful group.  Willie made people laugh besides entertaining with his steady, proficient and beautiful bass playing. He was a mentor, friend and influence to many musicians, co‑workers, friends and fans. His rough exterior masked an intellectual man with a caring heart and sense of humor towards life. Willie will be missed by many in the Surrattsville community; he was a character in the stories of many lives.




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