Introduction

 

Fifty years ago this summer, construction began at a barn and sugar shack on Delabarre Avenue in Conway, the Conway School’s first home. Since that time, the school has moved (to “the Hill” in Conway, “the Mill” in Easthampton, and now the Coach House in Northampton), but every year has marked a continuation of the experiment in design education that Walt Cudnohufsky launched in 1972.

Planning for a celebration of this rich history and our 50th anniversary is nearly complete. Given the unusual circumstances of our times, we will be creative in the ways in which we can gather, reflect, and celebrate, while remaining flexible and cognizant of potential constraints. Rather than one day or weekend of events, we will use the structure of the school year as our guide, providing opportunities to connect and reflect over the course of 2022-2023. We look forward to many opportunities to reconnect, reminisce, and look to the future together throughout the year!

In celebration of Conway’s 50th anniversary, we will host a series of events over the course of the year, both in person and virtually:

Fall: The Early Years

During the fall term, we focused on the rich history of the founding of the school, from conception, to structure and pedagogy, to entertaining stories of challenge and success.

Throughout the year, we will also host a series of seven monthly virtual regional gatherings among alums across all five decades, providing an opportunity for alums to catch up with classmates, make new connections, and engage in lively conversation. We will also host several local events and alum challenges focused on the past, present, and future of trees, including Legacy Tree site visits, a discussion of the importance of forests in the Mohawk Trail region and how they were managed by Indigenous communities and European populations, a walk and talk with local arborists in Northampton, and a tree planting event on Arbor Day in Pittsfield, MA.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2022, 7:00-8:30 PM EDT BY ZOOM

Conway School: The Early Years – Walt Cudnohufsky and Don Walker ’79 in conversation with Liz Vizza ’82

  • Walt and Don shared anecdotes from the early years of the Conway School, along with reflections about what led each of them to play the important roles they did, and what they think about the continuing evolution. Thank you to all of the alums and friends who attended this memorable event! A recording of the event is available online.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2022, 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Legacy Tree Site Visit: Mohawk Trail State Forest


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2022, 5:30-7:00 PM MOUNTAIN TIME (7:30-9:00 PM EDT) VIA ZOOM

Southwest/Mountain Regional Alum Zoom Gathering


SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2022, 5:30-7:00 PM (EDT) VIA ZOOM

Mid-Atlantic Regional Alum Zoom Gathering

  • Co-moderated by Anna Best ’13, Elizabeth French Fribush ’81, and Robert Small ’93
  • Thank you to those who joined us!

Winter: The Present

In the winter, the focus will shift to the present, as we look at the evolution of the school that has brought us to the current times, with an online panel event exploring the topics of equity in climate change mitigation and adaptation design and planning.

Watch this space (and your mailbox and email inbox) for more details, more events, and invitations! In the meantime, save the date for: 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2022, 5:30-7:00 PM EST VIA ZOOM

Regional Alum Zoom Gathering: Southern New England

  • Co-moderated by Ellen Huffman ’20, Alex Krofta ’15, and Robert Small ’93
  • Thank you to those who joined us!

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8, 2023, 5:30-7:00 PM EST VIA ZOOM

Regional Alum Zoom Gathering: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

  • Co-moderated by Boris Kerzner ’20, Robert Small ’93, and Jenna Webster ’09
  • Thank you to those who joined us!

THURSDAY, JANUARY 26, 2023, 7:00-8:30 PM EST VIA ZOOM

Who’s at the Table? Equity, Climate Change, and Urban Planning
A Panel Discussion


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2023, 5:30-7:00 PM PT VIA ZOOM

Regional Alum Zoom Gathering: California

  • Co-moderators: Shaine Meulmester ’20, Robert Small ’93, and Robbie Verhofste ‘19
  • Stay tuned for more information.

SUNDAY, MARCH 12, 2023, 5:30-7:00 PM PT

Regional Alum Zoom Gathering: Northwest

  • Co-moderators: Beth Batchelder ’15, Robert Small ’93, and Kim Smith ’13
  • Stay tuned for more information.

Spring: The Future

Come spring, we will look to the future as we celebrate the school’s fiftieth commencement. During the spring, we’ll hold an in-person gathering to reconnect, cap off the year, and celebrate the achievements of the last fifty years. We will also host a keynote speaker to help us delve into the larger question of what the future holds for the field, and how the Conway School can continue to respond to the ecological, climate, and social justice issues facing the next generation of Conway graduates, the future stewards of our Earth.

Watch this space (and your mailbox and email inbox) for more details, more events, and invitations! In the meantime, save the date for: 

SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 2023, 5:30-7:00 PM EST

Regional Alum Zoom Gathering: Northern New England

  • Co-moderators: Rowan Cignoni ’20, Robert Small ’93, and Wynne Wirth ’98
  • Stay tuned for more information.

FRIDAY, APRIL 28, TIME TBD IN PERSON AT SPRINGSIDE PARK, PITTSFIELD, MA

Arbor Day Tree Planting

  • Stay tuned for more information.

THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2023, 7:00-8:30 PM EST VIA ZOOM

Keynote Speaker: Winona LaDuke

  • Moderator: Jamie Pottern ’12, New England Program Manager, American Farmland Trust
  • The Conway School is looking forward to a conversation with internationally acclaimed author, orator, and activist Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) about our relationships with land, what they mean, how they impact us and others, and how we carry them forward in a regenerative way.
  • Stay tuned for more information.

SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2023, 1:00-5:00 PM EST IN PERSON

In-person Alum Celebration

  • Gathering at the Ox and Rabbit at Edge Hill in Ashfield, MA. Stay tuned for more information.

 

The images above are by CC Camilliere ’22, Jenny Goldleaf ’22, and Evan Hendra ’22 respectively, and are all contributions to a collaborative collage of the Coach House made by all of the members of the Class of ’22 and presented during their graduation ceremony as a class gift to the school.