2014 Annual Appeal


The Center for Biography and Social Art would like to acknowledge our gratitude for the support of our donors to our Annual Gift Fund

Our 2014 Annual Appeal invited donors to contribute to the Center in honor of someone who had been important in their lives, someone who had planted seeds within them and watered and nurtured those seeds.

25 donors have contributed $3025 and 5 have made their donations in honor of someone in particular.

One donor shared this story with us:

“I’d like to make a donation in honor of Sandy Johnson, who was my teacher and mentor at Mount Holyoke College back in the early 80’s. She was a social activist and early childhood teacher, a Quaker, a seeker, and a striving human being. She taught me more about living with integrity and passion than anyone I’ve ever met. When she retired from teaching preschool, she turned her attention to helping adults. Her business was called “Grandmother’s Milk”, and she saw people in her home, always starting out the session with tea and toast! Although she didn’t meet the biography work in this lifetime, she was ALWAYS interested in the person in front of her, whether it was a parent, the president of the college, or the cleaning lady in the preschool. She was smart, funny, dedicated, and kind. I met her during my first moon node(18 1/2), and it was through meeting her that I found my work and way in the world.”

-Jill Bieber

And another this story honoring a 4th grade teacher:

“As I think of the people in my life, I am filled with thanksgiving. One of them who comes to mind so easily was Mr.(Byron) Shipley. He was very tall, or so it seemed to a 9 year old, wore a suit and tie to school with a handkerchief in his pocket that he used! He wore glasses and seemed old to me. He understood children and we learned through stories and games. He gave us ‘starter-uppers’ to learn how to write a story. He gave us the first few lines and we had to take it from there. We performed plays and learned poetry by heart. We started the morning with the pledge to the flag and also a bible verse. I could tell that those bible verses meantsomething to him. They read like poetry and spoke of human uprightness and praise. The only trouble he had that I knew of was parents who couldn’t believe their children were learning anything because they were having too much fun. And the irony is that I remember far more from the 4th grade than any other year. I only had him for one year, but his influence has lasted a lifetime – and I have come to realize that that year with him allowed me to recognize Waldorf education when I found it out of my own experience. Thank you, Mr. Shipley!”

Patricia Rubano


” When I was a child, Ellen lived next door to my grandmother and ironed for a living. She had a crackly, cackley laugh that bubbled up from her chest and a face that could break into circles around her grin. In my child memory she is standing at her ironing board, shoulders hiked over crutches, with a big steel brace and built-up shoes on her tiny foot. This old woman was the only other person I knew who had polio. I also had a brace and crutches. Ellen met her difficulties with strength, determination, and joyful laughter. Her self-reliance, uncomplaining determination and loving acceptance were a gift to me and fed my soul.”

-Sarah Putnam


“I had for many years been fascinated by the mystery of how a person could be an individual and part of a group simultaneously. Many of my projects in graduate school were focused on this interest. So when I met Janet Hampton and began studying Anthroposophy in her home with she and her husband, John, and a few others in 1986 I knew I had found something very meaningful. Steiner’s Social Motto (see sidebar) was always a model of our working together in the study group and later in the formation of the Sophia Center for Life Studies.

Janet had just returned from England studying Biography and Social Art when I joined the study group.
The group, very early on decided to have a retreat in the mountains of West VA. I was new to Anthroposophy and very enamored with the knowledge and credentials of group members, so when Janet asked me to lead one of the retreat small groups, I was shocked, felt totally inadequate but assented. I will never forget my small group and the stories they shared. I was hooked on biography and social art.
Janet Hampton will always be remembered with such gratitude for introducing me to Anthroposophy and biography and social art and for “seeing” something in me which she nurtured as long as we knew each other.

Janet crossed the threshold Jan. 4, 2007 but is still very present in my life.”

-Sandra Crater LaGrega


 Names of those who have been important in the lives of donors:

Ivette Lenard donated in honor of Eva K.

Aleksandra Becnel donated in honor of her parents Alice and Henry.

Kathleen Bowen donated in honor of Cara Graver, a woman who helps people love themselves and relish their experience.

Elizabeth McGuigan donated in loving memory of her parents Dave Toothman Oct. 2, 1020-Nov. 17, 2014 and Loreen Toothman April 20, 1923-February 16, 2015.