Whitenight

Charlotte Sizoo Whitenight ’68

Degree(s):

I earned my degree in history from Hood in 1968. In 2001, I earned a certificate from Christie’s Education in Survey of Fine and Decorative Arts, Renaissance to Present Day, and in 2003, I earned a certificate of Appraisal Studies from George Washington University. Most recently, I finished my Master of Philosophy in History and Connoisseurship, Modern and Contemporary Art at Glasgow University in 2005.

Current Position:

Happily, I retired early at 52 as a manager at the Social Security Administration. I have a part-time antique business, exhibiting at antique shows primarily in the Washington, D.C. area.

Responsibilities (What does your “typical” day look like?):

I love my life and feel so lucky! I do a lot of volunteer work in the arts—with the Baltimore Symphony Associates (the volunteer organization of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra), and as a docent at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I’ve been active in the Junior League for more years than I’d like to admit—more than 35 years! I also joined the Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle, which supports women’s and children’s organizations and projects in the Baltimore area through grant-giving. I’m also quite good at lunching with friends, seeing movies and traveling! All-in-all, I’m quite spoiled.

I am on the fundraising committee for our 50th reunion class gift with two classmate friends, Sandra Gerwin Herndon and Pamela Nicholson Neuman. This is to be an endowed scholarship and a donation to the Annual Fund. Sandy and I have been Giving Co-Chairs for the last five years, and we’re thrilled to have Pam join us. We’ve loved working with each other and catching up with other classmates.

What do you like most about your current job?

I love the social interaction that my business and volunteer activities provide. After trying various volunteer commitments that were a little more “solitary,” I realized that I need to work and share with others.

In my antique business, I primarily sell English antiques. This gives me the opportunity to fly to London two or three times a year on buying trips. I also lived in London for two academic years earning a certificate and a master’s degree in art history—both post-retirement, as a “mature” student.

Where did you live as a student?

I lived on the fourth floor of Coblenz freshman year, which, thankfully, due to the stairs, somewhat counteracted the effect of the yummy food downstairs. The next three years were spent in Memorial—it was the new dorm at the time and gorgeous!

Favorite Class and/or Professor at Hood:

I arrived at Hood not having a clue what I wanted to study or do with my life. Sophomore year I had wonderful professors for American and Russian history, making history come alive for me, and decided to become a history major. Actually, now, at the Baltimore Museum of Art, I use what I learned by putting art in historical context for student and adult visitors. In my business, I do the same with design.

What made you decide to attend Hood?

My grandmother—in the early 1900s she had friends who attended Hood and wished she could have gone also. I was always close to her and think of her often.

How did your experience at Hood influence or shape your career?

It taught me to write logically and to think critically. The analytical, writing and presentation skills I learned were probably the most important factors in my successful (and lucky) career at SSA.

What is your fondest memory of your time at Hood?

Springtime on a beautiful night, with the windows wide open, playing the Mommas and Poppas at full volume—I thought life couldn’t get any better!

Describe Hood in one word:

Home.

Define your most successful moment:

At Hood, it was graduation. I was leaving Hood confident that I could do anything, including the start of my first, permanent job two weeks afterward at the National Archives and Records Administration.

My second most successful moment was earning a masters degree after 30-plus years of “no studying and no homework!”

Advice to current students:

Take advantage of everything Hood has to offer—academically, athletically and socially. Remember to be thankful for the great education you’re receiving and friendships you’re making. Always be grateful and give back.

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