Jody Abzug’s Eph Blurb

For better or worse, as co-head agent for these past five years, the class of ’88 has learned quite a bit about my recent life, but never one to pass up an opportunity to spin a yarn I’ll go back to the summer of 1988. Like many classmates wanting to stall the inevitable “what to do with my life,” I chose graduate school for an advanced degree in art history. To get a leg up I spent that summer taking classes at Queens College and living at home. September found me at the University of Delaware in lovely (?) Newark, pronounced New Ark. My Williams experience prepared me little to be a # for the next years as a grad student, but I loved my coursework in American Art and most of my professors; and hey, I got to party with Richie Gannon (Quarterback of the AFC Championship Oakland Raiders) who was a recent Blue Hen alum. Yup only I (and Thayer Tolles ’87) could go from a purple cow to a blue hen [of course both beat a Lord Jeff any day.]

Following my first year of grad school I entered the real world working as a program coordinator for Art Horizons International, a behind-the-scenes, very upscale arts and cultural tour company. I worked my way up to vice president and left in July 1993 to finish masters thesis. I graduated from Delaware in January 1994. My four plus years at AHI were filled with Broadway premieres and post show talks with cast and crew, dinners, lunches and breakfasts at all the best restaurants, visits to artists’ studios and art collectors homes, behind-the-scenes tours at museums and galleries, etc.,

In September of 1991 I met the man of my dreams, and now husband Jim on a weekend visit to Choate Rosemary Hall. Jim had been teaching at Choate since 1988 and had been teaching since graduating from Holy Cross in 1983. My culturally Jewish parents were a bit concerned. In November 1993 I entered full-time the world of nonprofit fundraising. I began my career in corporate and foundation relations at Columbia University school of Law. , and left there after 18 months to start a foundations department at Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist organization of America (my parents were psyched!). I worked at Hadassah until June 1996 when Jim and I were married in a wonderful ceremony presided over by the God Squad — a rabbi and a priest (my parents lost their concern.) Following our wedding I found myself once again living on a campus, but this time a boarding high school, a very different experience.

I was a development officer at Wesleyan University which gave me a zillion more reasons to love Williams and left to become Director of Development at Hamden Hall Country Day School. My tenure at HHCDS was short-lived when I gave birth to twins in January 1999. Back in September before my first sonogram I had told a very pushy real estate agent on Cape Cod that my husband and I needed more time to decide on buying a second house on the Cape because I could be carrying twins. Be careful what you say, lo and behold, one week to the day I learned I was having twins. Jeremy and Jordana came along and completely altered my life forever for the better. Nothing prepares you for motherhood, especially when you have two (or more, my hats off to Teresa). I loved being able to be home full-time for the first two years, and have slowly returned to the fundraising world as a consultant. In 2001 I earned my certification as a fund raising executive. What began as writing a few proposals for a small theatre company has mushroomed into multiple tasks for multiple clients. Presently I am the Director of the Campaign for Neighborhood Music School, a grant writer for Creative arts Workshop and the Eli Whitney Museum, and a researcher for a book about New Haven artists.
My life is extraordinarily full. I am thrilled to say I am still in very close contact with Lisa Buxbaum and through the last decade have remained close with Sonja Lengnick, Helen Curtis, Nora Harrington, Jean Fox Hooks, Janet Mansfield, Jean Janson Fulkerson, Katie Gerber Kennedy, Sharon Burke, Annie Cordova, Rick Fearon, Kim Rich, Ellen Chase Salzman, Brooks Foehl, Katie Kessler and thanks to my involvement with the Alumni Fund I have periodically been in contact with at least 100 other classmates.

I look back and realize the past 15 years have flown by because they have been so wonderfully filled with love.

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