Erika Schwenn Fox

Received June 15, 2010                                                  





WHS experience:  I came to WHS from Madison’s east side knowing few of my classmates.   Some significant activities continued outside of WHS:  dance classes and performances, Unitarian youth group, and a close friendship with my cousin Kathryn Seifert who went to East.  Also, I had split affiliations to my original class of ’60 and my graduating class of ’59.  But I have memories of many happy WHS experiences, e.g.: forensic competitions and one-act plays with Mary McAndrews, Jeff Kravat and others; half-court basketball in the 4th floor gym; singing with Ozzie Marshall and friends in the “Sextet;” getting to wear pants on home football days; playing lousy trombone with the boys in the back of the band; acing math exams after studying all night at Bev Mickelson’s; being invited to join SSC with Judy Rundell; and I loved diagramming sentences with Miss Springhorn!       


Post WHS education & experiences:  Attended Bennington College 1959-61; continued at UW and Univ. of Hong Kong, completing BA in Sociology at BU in 1969; JD from Boston College Law School in 1974.  The “postgraduate education” that most influenced my life was as a member of the local, state and national Women’s Political Caucus, beginning in the early ‘70s.  This grounding in politics, government, organizing and leadership shaped my friendships, my life as a political activist, and my career.   


Employment history:  Early work (1960-71) in social survey research; law practice and lobbyist in Kansas City MO, 1974-85.  Subsequently, I developed a public affairs department for Planned Parenthood in Missouri & Kansas, retiring as VP for Public Policy in 2002.  “Retirement” includes: singing in groups on Cape Cod, including the Falmouth Chorale for which I write grant applications; active in a Unitarian Universalist congregation, serving as communications chair; participation in Senior Environment Corps projects related to water quality, aquaculture, wildlife preservation, land management and recycling. 


Family matters:  Married William Fox (Williams College ’64) in 1962.  Children: Myles (1966) and Jennifer & Alison (1970).  Myles retired from the Navy and manages a marina on Long Island Sound (CT); Jennifer works as a counselor on Cape Cod; Alison and her ex-husband run a decorative arts business in the Catskills (NY).  Grandchildren:  Sydney (age 12) and Jake (Senior at Plymouth State U in NH). 


My current plans:  lose more weight, get more exercise, reduce stress; keep my husband healthy; stay out of politics, if possible; live a simpler life that is more in tune with the universe. 


Parting thoughts:  Visit us on Cape Cod if you come this way.  Tell us you are coming:  508-563-3513,, or PO Box 344, Cataumet, MA 02534.