August 2016 Features

My Name Is …

jr-sa2016ReU_303… Susan Moreno ’81

…I had a great experience here. I played lacrosse, and I remember Ernst Berliner and his German accent in the chemistry department and the juxtaposition of him and George Zimmerman and his bowtie and disheveled hair. And I had Nicholas Patruno for Italian, which I loved. A lot of what I remember is sitting in the hallways at night, on the weekends, and we would all just be talking about philosophy and emotions and goings-on in the world. I remember that more than a lot of the stuff they taught us in class…. I always say to my kids: Bryn Mawr is where I really learned to think. I had a really good experience here. I love this college, and I’m glad to see it’s still all-women as well. That’s impressive.


… Farar Elliott ’87 and Angela Johnson ’87

Farar: We are here decades later, but we met on the very first day of Customs Week because we were in the same Customs group and we lived on the same floor.

Angela: Yup. Farar isn’t the first person I spoke to at Bryn Mawr, but she’s the first person I remember speaking to. I had come here from New Mexico. It was an escape from the Bible Belt for me. We were sitting under a tree [laughs] and she said to me—you know what? I don’t remember what she said but it was the wittiest thing an 18-year-old had ever said in my experience. And that was…

Farar: … a long time ago.

Angela: So long ago that neither one of us can count.

Farar: Right. And then we met. We were best friends. In dorm draw, we went to the same dorm the next year, we got involved, we dated all the way through college and out of college. And now we’re still the best of friends and live only an hour and a half away but don’t see each other often enough. But we always know we can send each other really snarky texts.


 … Jill Coogan ’82

We’re being told over and over that we have to not just say I’m going to my college for reunion or I’m going to my alumnae book group. We’re supposed to say, “Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr.”

So the story I want to tell about how that pays off is:

I was in the Loire Valley in France last October, and in Amboise, where there is a chateau, very pretty, right on the Loire River, and I spent the evening in a restaurant. And you know how when you’re eating alone, you talk across tables to other people? And there were other Americans and, in particular, this one older American couple. We kept talking across the tables, off and on. After dinner, they walked me back over the bridge that crosses the Loire, and as we were saying goodnight, for some reason—maybe it was how good my French was—Bryn Mawr came up.

And instead of just saying, “Oh, I took classes in college,” or “we had a really good program,” I said, “I went to Bryn Mawr, and they have an excellent French program.” And this is after three hours that we spent together, they went, “Oh, my God, do you know professor Mark Ross?” I said, “Yes, I was a political science major. He was one of my very favorite professors. He’s wonderful.” They turned out to be his best friends from graduate school.

So, yet another way that it is helpful to the College and to our relationships with others—it helps you too—to say the name of the College, Bryn Mawr.

… Katie Kirk, daughter of Jessica Kirk ’91

This place is really cool for me because her mom [Melinda Aikins Bass ’61] and my dad’s mom [Nancy Kirk ’59] also went to Bryn Mawr. So this place has history for me. So this place is definitely going to be on my list of places I want to apply to.


… Darcy Prince ’91

The question is why I came to Bryn Mawr, and the answer is that when I was in high school, I wanted to focus on academics. So I wanted to go to a women’s college so I wouldn’t be distracted, and I wanted to go to a small school…. But one of the main things that made me come here, besides the amazing reputation, was that the food here was really good. I ate at the campus dining hall during my visit. And I thought, I have to eat here all four years. And the campus being so beautiful as well really made an impact on me. And now that I’m back for reunion, I’m walking around and looking around, and I’m like, We’re so lucky we got to go here and be surrounded by all these gorgeous buildings and trees and birds chirping and brilliant people.


… Sruti Bhaumik ’06

I chose Bryn Mawr because it was known for being very strong in the sciences among the Seven Sisters colleges, and I found that to be true. They’re very warm and welcoming in terms of giving people opportunities and extra help in their math and science classes in addition to their writing classes…. It’s a really great education for women. No one tries to dissuade you from attempting something, or if you’re having some difficulty, there’s a lot of help, and people are rooting for you.


… Darla Himeles ’06 and Betsy Reese, an instructional technologist in Collier Library from 1999 to 2009.

Darla: After I graduated, I was working in IS as the coordinator of staff education and…

Betsy: … I was working in Collier Library. I was told I had to make a meeting with Darla if I wanted to have an education class for staff in GIS. I was not happy about that. So I sent her a fairly snarky email, saying I was told I have to meet with you in order to have this class.

Darla: So we had a meeting in the Student Center, and we had a follow-up meeting because setting up a class for staff usually takes a couple of conversations. Our second meeting, we ended up having in a bar near the Ardmore train station because Betsy was a commuter from Lancaster and she didn’t want to miss her train. So we met for all of about 20 minutes about work and then we began talking about ourselves….

Betsy: … and the rest is history. We fell in love, we moved in together, and then in 2009 we got married in Provincetown and probably had 30 people from Bryn Mawr at the wedding. We made it into the alumnae magazine, and also a Bryn Mawr alum, Claudia Ginanni ’86, met her wife through our wedding, and now they’re married. So we were the catalyst.

Darla: We love Bryn Mawr, and we come back all the time. It’s so cool to be here. This place is really important to both of us…

Betsy: Definitely, definitely. I met my beautiful wife here.

Darla: And I met mine.

Comments on “My Name Is …”

  1. It is hard for me to believe that I entered Bryn Mawr as a freshman in 1949 — 67 years ago! My years there — in Pem East — were among the most interesting that I have had. I will not forget them — nor the close friends I made there, including Kathy Ehlers, Sue Savage, Betty Mutch, Jane Castor, and Betty Brittain..

    Yes, we worked really hard and I remember spending too many hours in the library with assigned books. But there were also many hours enjoyed with my close Bryn Mawr and Haverford friends.

    Although I did get two more degrees afterwards, it was my time at Bryn Mawr that I remember best..