Important Message from the Board of Directors

February 1, 2024

Dear Ebell Member:

The Ebell Board of Directors’ role is to protect and promote the mission and property of The Ebell.  As you may know, after extensive research, input, and discussion that started nearly six years ago, the Board has recommended and voted to change the Bylaws and address the need for a seismic retrofit. The Board considers these changes vital to The Ebell’s future. These proposed changes are now about to be brought to the membership for a vote.

The Board is committed to making sure that all Ebell members fully understand the proposed changes before the vote. The purpose of this letter is to communicate the Board’s process thus far and what will happen before the vote – to ensure that all Ebell members can be informed and heard.

As many of you know, the Board passed a motion to approve updates to the Bylaws last year after extensive discussion and input from the Governance Committee, consultation with parliamentary and nonprofit legal experts, and multiple conversations of the Board which began years ago.

Eligible Ebell members will be asked to ratify the Board’s decision through an online vote in the coming months.  We are counting on your support.

We have always encouraged constructive dialogue about The Ebell and its significance to members and to the community more broadly. The proposed changes have been the result of multi-year study and deliberation about how we prepare for a future defined by enhanced relevance, greater social impact, and increased programming and opportunities for members and the broader community. We are also focused on our organizational reputation as we seek to attract funding for the seismic retrofit and campus updates.

We care deeply about the perspectives of members; our doors are always open to respectful conversation and debate.  To that end, we have made a concerted effort to share updates on this process with the full membership and solicit feedback.  The following actions to engage members and encourage dialogue with the Board have already been taken:

The Governance Committee was opened to all members who wished to be involved and express their views.

The Board has presented updates on governance activities and answered questions at the Semi-Annual Business Meetings; the PowerPoint presentations are accessible via the website.

In October and November, all members who use email received email communications about the proposed Bylaws approved by the Board and outlining the purpose and reasoning behind the updates.

All information was posted and continues to be available on the website.

The recent CONFAB provided a forum for dialogue and deeper understanding of the proposed Bylaw updates as well as the scope of the seismic retrofit.

In the coming weeks, we also will be doing the following:

Members will be sent a package containing all information that we circulated online and more.

You are invited to a series of information sessions along with subsequent formal and informal discussions at various times of the day to accommodate members’ varied schedules.

  • Wednesday, February 7, 6:00 – 8:00 pm (hybrid Zoom and in-person)
  • Saturday, February 10, 1:00-2:00 pm (after Scholarship Breakfast) (in-person)

We will be offering President’s Office Hours on Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00 pm for those who would like to discuss this further in person.  Please make an appointment with Laurie at or 781-454-8266.

The Board remains committed to a governance structure that will best enable The Ebell to strengthen membership and maintain our significance as a cultural, educational, and service-oriented community and campus powered by women.  We strongly recommend that you consider the bylaw updates and VOTE for their adoption so we may continue to position The Ebell for a bright future in our dynamic, vibrant Los Angeles landscape.

We will also be sending out a series of emails that will include the Proposed Bylaws, current Bylaws, and the Interim Policies.  If you would like physical copies of these documents, please contact Amelia Comer at 323-931-1277 x131 or email:

Your Ebell Board of Directors

Laurie Schechter
Julie Barkan
Janis Barquist
Lee Braly
Catherine Collins
Phyllis Hansen
LaToya Hearns
Randi Jones
Laura Louden
Anne Lynch
Christy McAvoy
Denise Parga
Donna Russell
Clare Sebenius
Fran Varga