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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dear Alumna,

Last year, under the aegis of “transformative change,” the Wilson College Board of Trustees (BOT) voted to eliminate the College for Women. A primary reason given for this decision was to ensure Wilson's financial stability. Are the BOT's changes, including coeducation, solving Wilson's fiscal problems?

Last year, alumnae stood ready to help Wilson in whatever ways they could. They rejuvenated the Aunt Sarah program, initiated a host of additional activities in support of the college, and offered to do more. Today, the Administration actively opposes alumnae who dare to challenge its decisions and actions, and is using Wilson's scarce resources in a legal action to force Daisies Can Tell (formerly the Pines and Maples group) to surrender the domain name to the College (see letters copied below).

Is Wilson's Financial Status Improving?

In the months leading up to the Board's January 2013 vote, the President and BOT Chair frequently cited Wilson's financial situation as the primary reason transformative change, including coeducation, was needed.

In particular, Board Chair John Gibb wrote to alumnae on November 27, 2012, stating: “There is urgency for our decision based on Wilson's fiscal health…. The College has $31.2 million of bonds outstanding, which are backed by a letter of credit from Bank of America. The letter of credit terminates in 2015, at which time the College will need to show satisfactory financial performance in order for the bank to extend it. Additionally, we will begin payment of $31.2 million of principal in 2018 (to date, we have only been paying interest).”

Under guidance from the BOT, the College had obtained the letter of credit from Bank of America to secure the bond (loan) that financed the construction of the new science center. But then Wilson violated one of the conditions of the bond (known as a covenant), and Bank of America responded with an increase in the letter of credit fees. The cost to the college: approximately an additional $160,000 annually.

Prior to the BOT's vote, the President and BOT Chair repeatedly highlighted the financial woes of the College. Why haven't we heard about the letter of credit since then? What is Wilson's financial situation today? Overall, is the decision to become fully coeducational, together with other changes the BOT approved, solving Wilson's financial problems?

Administration Censorship of Alumnae Views

Last month, we shared with you our decision to stop using the Pines and Maples domain name, and communicate instead through our new name, Daisies Can Tell. Although we strongly disagree with the College's claim that we were infringing on trademark rights by confusing alumnae with the Pines and Maples domain name and violating “fair use,” we changed our domain name to spare Wilson unnecessary and costly legal expense.

We were surprised, therefore, to receive a letter from Wilson's attorney, Elizabeth Maguschak. It stated, “…we demand that you transfer the domain name, and that such domain name be transferred by February 6, 2014.” As our response to Ms. Maguschak indicates, many domain names are available to the College, including,, and even, but Wilson has taken no steps to register any of them.

Perhaps it is not the domain name that is important to the Administration. Perhaps, like the newly instituted practice of censoring the “Class Notes” section of the Wilson magazine (reaffirmed in the recently released Winter issue—see Letter from the Editor), Wilson administrators would like alumnae to receive only one message. A message that is delivered, filtered, and controlled by them.

Wilson has faced many challenges in the past and prevailed. Alumnae support and action over the years have been crucial to Wilson's survival. No one questions that the College is grappling with difficult conditions today, as are other private, nonprofit colleges. But have the President and the BOT made the best decisions for Wilson's future?

A final note—we will inform you of the PA Department of Education hearing date and location as soon as we can. If you are able to attend, please do so. This is a public hearing and the PDE will try to secure a room to accommodate all those who would like to attend or make arrangements for viewing from nearby.

We remain firmly pledged to love and honor...

Deborah Barnes ’71
Melissa Behm ’76
Kendal Hopkins ’80
Nicole Noll ’03
Carol Noon ’87

Reply to Elizabeth Maguschak
Sent on February 12, 2014

Reply sent to Maguschak

Reply to Elizabeth Maguschak
Sent on February 6, 2014

The Daisies Can Tell team replied to Elizabeth Maguschak on February 6th as follows:

“We have received your letter of January 30, 2014, and are consulting with counsel. We plan to respond by February 14.”

Letter from Elizabeth Maguschak
Received on January 30, 2014

Letter received from Maguschak Letter received from Maguschak Letter received from Maguschak

The website was established on October 11, 2012 by a group of Wilson College alumnae to persuade the Board of Trustees and President of Wilson College to ensure Wilson's success as a women's college. Since the Board's vote on January 13, 2013 to make Wilson College coeducational across all programs, we have worked independently of the College to keep alumnae informed about events, activities, and decisions that affect our alma mater. In January of 2014, the site was moved to

Visit Daisies Can Tell