The Legacy of Ada W. Hatch ’31, “The First Scrippsie,” and Martha Reich ’71 Honored at Scripps College

Martha Hatch Reich '71 with Campus Dedication

By Kendra Pintor

Scripps College holds a special place in the heart of Martha Hatch Reich, a distinguished alum from the Class of 1971. However, her connection to Scripps extends beyond her own academic journey; it is a legacy intertwined with her mother’s pioneering role in the College’s history.

In a recent interview, Martha gave a heartfelt recounting of her meaningful experience visiting Scripps in the fall of 2023. The sight of a bench and plaque dedicated to her mother, Ada W. Hatch ’31, filled her with nostalgia. Hatch, a member of Scripps’ inaugural class, is often referred to by her daughter as “the first Scrippsie.”

“While my mother, Ada, was attending Claremont High School, her mother worked as a social secretary for the president of Pomona College. He told my grandmother that there was a new college coming to Claremont—Scripps—and so my mother, in 1927, applied and was accepted,” says Martha. “We’ve referred to her as the ‘first Scrippsie’ ever since.”

For Martha, honoring her mother’s legacy became a cherished goal that culminated with the inclusion of a plaque and a bench on Scripps’ campus. Martha’s emotional connection to Scripps is evident in her description of the visit as she reflects upon her family’s deeply rooted connection to the College’s history.

Martha Hatch Reich '71 with Portrait of Mother Ada Hatch '31

Reflecting on her own academic years at Scripps, Martha emphasizes the profound impact of the humanities program on her life.

“The humanities curriculum, led by outstanding professors, is what I remember and cherish most about my Scripps experience,” says Martha. “During those four years I made wonderful friends in Dorsey Hall and still keep in touch with many of them.”

Martha remains an ardent advocate for the transformative power of education, especially within the unique environment of women’s colleges.

“Mother’s connection to Scripps was always important to her because she belonged to the first graduating class, but even after graduating, she still participated in the Scripps community, most notably by serving on the Board of Trustees,” says Martha. “One of my best memories of Scripps is attending Alumnae Day (now Reunion Weekend) with my mother; I loved sharing that day with her.”

Martha also acknowledges the pivotal role alums play in shaping the future of Scripps College. Since her first gift to the College in 1978, Martha has given regularly in support of scholarships and The Scripps Fund.

“Alums play an important role in the future of Scripps College by sharing their experience and providing a link to the past,” says Martha. “I believe strongly in the power of women’s colleges, and I am happy to give back.”

In essence, Martha Hatch Reich’s journey at Scripps College is not just a personal narrative but a testament to the enduring legacy of women’s education. Through her family’s connection and her own experiences, Martha exemplifies the profound impact that alums can have on the success and longevity of women’s colleges, ensuring a bright future for generations to come.

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