Smart Talk by Rehm for Women at D.C. Sulgrave Club Salutes Coley

More than 70 alumnae and friends gathered at the historic Sulgrave Club in Washington, D.C. March 25 to celebrate and honor McDaniel’s eighth president, Joan Develin Coley prior to her retirement in June.  Nationally acclaimed public radio talk-show host Diane Rehm led the evening’s testimonials praising Coley’s achievements at the event sponsored by the McDaniel Women’s Leadership Network.

MWLN co-chair Barbara Shelton ’70, President Joan Develin Coley, Diane Rehm, co-chair Barbara Thomas ’70. Photography by Pam Zappardino.


“Impressive,” is the word Rehm used to describe her first impressions of Coley during a Board meeting on campus. A College trustee since 1994, Rehm met Coley when she was serving as provost.

“She brings grace, talent, and intelligence to the College,” added Rehm who noted that women like President Coley serve as role models for young women to achieve professional heights unimagined.

MWLN co-chair and alumna Barbara Shelton and evening’s emcee, added that Coley’s “courage, commitment and sincere humility have forged a winning combination” that has led the College through its name-change, revised and expanded academic programs, enhanced the campus through $45-million of improvements, and successfully completed the most ambitious fund-raising campaign to date, with $77 million raised.

“All that within a decade and without having to use the f-word,” Shelton said referring to the word ‘feminism.’

Shelton’s co-chair and 1970 classmate Barbara Thomas offered a champagne toast in Coley’s honor noting her as a “bold and fearless” president and wishing her much joy for the “next chapter of [her] story.

A memento bookmark was distributed featuring a reading list from both Coley and Rehm.