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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1994, Vol.14, No.3
Apgar Remembrances
Vera Joseph'36

Amherst, Massachusetts

In response to the call for Apgar remembrances: Her achievement and brilliance are widely recorded; my vignette is remembering Virginia as a warm, responsive human being.
When I entered P&S, anxious and uncertain, September '32, Virginia was a senior and in her keen, perceptive way recognized immediately my need for reassurance and a need of belonging. Virginia was always in motion! A whirlwind of white coat flying through the door of the Women Students Lounge at the head of the stairs near the bookstore was Virginia entering or leaving on a mission. She never dawdled but she could pause for a cheerful greeting, a reassuring hug, conversation, when needed, for me.
Although Virginia was at Presbyterian as an intern in surgery, I saw her less frequently the next three years, then not at all for many years when I lived in Geneva, Switzerland, and she was developing her measure for assessing the health status of the newborn and gaining a world-wide reputation. Doctors from all over the world came to WHO headquarters to serve on expert panels and, learning that my husband and I were P&S graduates, invariably wanted to talk about Virginia.
After we returned to the United States and settled in Amherst, Mass., Virginia often came to neighboring South Hadley for meetings of the Board of Trustees of her alma mater, Mount Holyoke College. She would come by to visit us, bringing to my mother, in her 80s, a large packet of stamps, the bounty of extensive travel and correspondence with friends and colleagues from all over the world. Both Virginia and my mother loved the lore of stamps and Virginia's gift kept my mother happy and busy for months.
I think it is so absolutely appropriate that a stamp is being issued to honor Virginia. The honor has been earned and well-deserved, the stamp the perfect accolade. Writing about Virginia has evoked happy memories.


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