As I’ve said, these days I travel primarily to see people and renew relationships. Stephanie and I are sister graduates of the College of St. Elizabeth, class of 1967. Those were the days when bright girls from Catholic families automatically went to Catholic colleges. We had an unusually competent class, accumulating a high number of doctoral degrees and medical degrees among us, plus a significant number of lawyers and judges practicing, often in areas of the law related to social justice or the environment — Stephanie is a retired Superior Court judge and an environmental lawyer. We have numbers of classmates with high level corporate and business and political careers. We have a number of educators, either in the pubic school system or in higher education. Several of us are also published authors. Not long after we graduated, the culture changed and bright young Catholic women could go anywhere — and they did, in droves. Hard times for small Catholic liberal arts colleges began and have continued.
I renewed my friendship with Stephanie at our 50th reunion, and resolved then to make an effort to see friends from St. E’s when and where I can. If we lived closer, I’d see a lot of these women — many of whom have remained in or near New Jersey. They were rock stars back in the day, and they are rock stars now, blazing an interesting path through this later stage of life. Going to a Catholic college was a mixed experience for me, and I left the practice of religion behind as soon as I graduated. But meeting this group of talented women was an unqualified plus.