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Remembering Rebecca Stickney (1921-2008)

Aug 22, 2008

The entire Bennington community mourns the death of alumna, long-time administrator, and Trustee Rebecca B. Stickney, who died on August 21, 2008, after a brief illness. Following her graduation from Bennington College in 1943, Becca worked at the Harvard Medical School on a U.S. government highly classified germ warfare project. She returned to Bennington in 1948 at the invitation of Bennington president Fred Burkhardt to establish an alumnae office. Becca continued to work at the College wearing, as she often put it, “several hats”. She served two stints as Director of Admissions for a total of 15 years, directed Public Relations and the Development Office, and established the Student Services Office in 1970. She became Assistant to the President in 1975 and, at the request of Bennington’s current president, Elizabeth Coleman, deferred her retirement to work part time in the President’s Office. She continued in that role until her death. In 1980, Becca was invited to become a member of the Board of Trustees and subsequently became its corporate secretary.

Becca was not only deeply committed to the well-being of those who studied, taught, and worked at the College, but also to its trees and grounds. She was often found laboring with the grounds crew planting trees, pruning shrubs, and keeping track of and maintaining the 15 bluebird houses she placed around and about the College’s fields and meadows. She was an avid bird watcher and every morning rain or snow or shine, she left her campus house, with dog and binoculars, for the two-mile walk to check on that outside world she loved.

Becca was the surviving child of six. She is survived by two nieces, a nephew, and several great and great-great nieces and nephews.