WDCSA Newsletter – September 2020

This month’s newsletter is available for download in PDF format.


Due to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak and an abundance of concern for the well-being of our community,  the University’s senior leadership has recommended that all large in-person events be cancelled or postponed.  However, we will still be hosting virtual events, as detailed below.

In addition, our monthly board meetings will be held virtually until further notice. See below for the September meeting details.

We are going to take this time as an opportunity to brainstorm fun activities and events for the DC-area Stanford Community. If you have any ideas for events, do not hesitate to reach out to the WDCSA Board!  

Thank you,

Patricia, James, Stephanie, and Jim

Calling All WDCSA Members

WDCSA is developing a series of online gatherings for alumni in the DC area.

We are looking for Stanford alumni who may have ideas of different online events that they would want to host.  If you have an idea and would like to host, simply fill out this form: https://forms.gle/6744HK6jWrqjYjuV7.

After submitting, we will review the idea and reach out about planning the event together.  

If you have any questions, contact: Patricia Arty ’10 at patriciaarty@alumni.stanford.edu.

Events Calendar

  • September 13 – Washington, DC Book Club Discussion
  • September 14 – Baltimore Book Club Discussion

Upcoming Events

Washington DC Book Club Discussion

Sunday, September 13, 5 pm

The book group will discuss Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi. 

This is a multigenerational tale spanning from the end of the 19th century to the early years of the new millennium. In the village of al-Awafi in Oman, we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla, who chooses to refuse all offers and await a reunion with the man she loves (who has emigrated to Canada). These three women and their families, their losses and loves, unspool against a backdrop of a rapidly changing Oman, a country evolving from a traditional, slave-owning society into its complex present. The great strength of the novel lies in the ways this society’s change is shown not as a steady progression from old to new but as a far more complicated series of small-scale transitions. Through the sisters, we glimpse a society in all its degrees, from the very poorest of the local slave families to those making money through the advent of new wealth. 

Details will be sent prior to Zoom discussion. 

To join the e-mail list, contact Don Bieniewicz, MS ’75, at donbien@erols.com.

Baltimore Book Club Discussion

Monday, September 14, 7:30 pm
Google Meet: Everyone will be emailed a link to join the meeting a few minutes before.

Our September selection is The Lady in the Lake:  A Novel by Laura Lippman.  The author spins a fictitious story intertwining two unrelated actual 1969 murders that occurred in Baltimore, Maryland.  One was of an 11 year-old Jewish girl, Esther Lebowitz, and the other was a 35 year-old black woman, Shirley Parker, which remains unsolved.  

The protagonist is a female reporter, like the author herself, who once was a reporter for the Baltimore Sun.  The setting is 1966, after John F. Kennedy’s assassination and before Martin Luther King’s.  The story exposes the deeper societal issues of gender, race, income inequality, and religion.  

The November selection is Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham.

Questions/RSVP:  Helene Myers, Ph.D., P’14, at cedarhouse@comcast.net

Stanford in the News

  • To conform to recent guidance from the State of California, effective Sept. 1, Stanford is establishing zones that define access to different areas of its main campus as autumn quarter begins. The new temporary zones, which will identify areas of the campus open to approved students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars as well as areas accessible to the broader community, are designed to support the resumption of research and teaching operations curbed by the COVID-19 pandemic.