August 2011 Articles

Generations... unite!

Bryn Mawr counts nearly 23,000 alumnae/i from the undergraduate college and graduate schools, ranging in age from 21 to 105. To engage this diverse community, the College is focusing on each generation. For recent graduates, the emphasis is on jobs and getting started in careers. For those in the “zoom zone”—building a career, raising a family, cementing marriages and partnerships—the goal is to provide broad-based support to navigate complex career paths. Once children are raised, there are new demands: changing careers, finding a reentry job, going back to school. Older Mawrters move into what Erik Erikson called the generative years; they want to leave a legacy and steward future generations.

But what is the thread that binds the generations together and creates the larger Bryn Mawr community?

The Bulletin faces a similar challenge. We want to appeal to each generation while presenting a cohesive magazine to all. There is tension between ages. Generally, older alums don’t want the Bulletin to go all tweety and splashy; younger ones don’t want staid, and they want it all online.

We need to hear from you. Please leave your comments. Or contact us via email to bmcalum@brynmawr.edu or via mail to Bulletin, 101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr, PA, 19010, or by calling Executive Director Wendy Greenfield at 610.526.5221.

—Abigail Trafford ’62, Guest Editor

Comments on “Generations... unite!”

  1. I am writing this also in response to Peter Thiel's Room for Debate about the education bubble.

    Ten years ago, we had the tech bubble burst. Four years ago, we had the housing bubble go. BMC is about $50K a year. I think colleges (public and private) are extremely expensive. And I think for some people, it's too expensive given what they get out of it. I did think the Bryn Mawr was expensive, but I didn't think it was overpriced given what I got out of it.

    I didn't go to class hung-over. I took my studies very seriously. I talked with my professors and teaching assistants regularly. I made good relationships with many different people. If I had gone through the motions only, you could say that I overpaid. This would have been the same case had I gone to a public institution. I spent my time in college not just thinking about my classes, but I thought carefully about how I wanted to spend my summers. I was brave enough to ask my advisor for contacts at other places to branch out because there were other places waiting to be discovered. I started thinking about JYA programs early enough so I could plan my classes accordingly.

    Ten years out, I've gone through lay-offs, but BMC made me brave. It was wonderful to spend six months trying to find what was right for me. People like to talk about what they're doing. And I didn't necessarily think the degree is the only thing there is to know about me, but it certainly gave me access to a fantastic virtual rolodex of amazing women, their friends, and business contacts. I am so thankful for how many of you other Bryn Mawr alumnae from all different generations have helped me over the last year. I'm so happy in my current position, and I wouldn't be here without you. I'm sure I could have done the same had I gone to a public institution, but it would have been more cumbersome to navigate. You've made it easier for me, and there isn't a price I can put on that.

    So no, the $30,000-$36,000 (with aid and scholarships) from 1997-2001 was not overpriced because I still to this day milk everything for my money with my professional development, and you alumnae from all different backgrounds and generations are what make my education grand. My alumnae connections have no boundaries. I hope I can be of help to some other alumnae in the future.

    TK '01

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