Mount Holyoke by Day

Commuting to College
1973 – 1975

My experience at Mount Holyoke College was not typical. I had left Wheaton College during the 1969 – 70 moratorium over the Vietnam War, soon got married, went to night school in the inner city of Springfield, Massachusetts.

A couple of years later, I decided I’d try a long shot. So I persuaded Dean Joan Ciruti, then Mount Holyoke College Dean of Admissions, who was also a professor of Spanish, to grant me an interview. She decided to take a chance on an unlikely candidate and I got accepted as a late sophomore. There were no “day students” at prestigious Seven Sisters Colleges then. 

I felt like an outsider and detached as I commuted from home, working at the Campus Post Office between classes to fulfill a tuition pledge while also maintaining full-time jobs in Springfield as a legal assistant, life insurance policy administrator, and bookkeeper at my Dad’s men’s clothing store. 

I’d study after classes when I could fit it in at my carrel in the Williston library. A home away from home. Since I didn’t live on Campus, I hardly knew any students well, except a couple in my classes. But. Since their lives revolved around the college’s residential houses we had little in common.

Eugenio Suárez-Galbán was head of the Spanish Dept. His Cervantes course was incredible. Also took psych & ed courses with John Osgood, a wonderful mentor and teacher.  I completed my B.A. degree and graduated at the outdoor Amphitheater in May of 1975.

Although my time at Mount Holyoke wasn’t the usual, it gave me a foundation to go on to teach Spanish at Longmeadow High School, and then my career took a sharp turn when I became an international banking executive after leaving marriage #1 and moving to New York. But that’s another whole story.

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