Wednesday, April 23, 2014

125 Years of Educating Women

Today I leave my island home to go visit my Alma Mater, Converse College.  Most people have never heard of it, but I am so proud that I graduated from such a fine college.  This year marks 20 {GASP!} years since I graduated as well as the 125th anniversary of the college.
There are three things that I’ve done that have made me the person I am today.  One of them is graduating from Converse. If you know nothing about Converse College this video might pique your interest.

This article came out recently and it describes some of the history that has been uncovered as they have been renovating Pell Hall, where I lived as a freshman.  If those walls could talk!
I am helping to plan our reunion and have asked classmates to send me photos from our college years.  I have laughed until I cried at some of the pictures, but out of respect, I’ll just share the ones that show us being “collegiate”.
Yes. there are only two.  In my defense I have all my pictures in storage and can’t get to them now.  I’m sure there are plenty more of them there.
Because Converse is a private women's college they could place all sorts of rules on us.  They were just protecting us from ourselves, but we did in fact need that protection.  In addition to protecting us those rules also made us so very close.  My Converse friends will be there if I need them.  Period.
The first 6 weeks of our Freshman year we had a curfew.  Of midnight.  We did it too.  After the first six weeks we got our curfews extended until 2 a.m.  Can you imagine?  I can, and looking back on it, I’m so glad we had a curfew.  As my mama always says, “Nothing good ever happens after midnight.”  Truer words have never been spoken!
Our entire four years were had to live on campus.  We ate most of our meals in the the Dining Hall {not a cafeteria}  and were had a sit down dinner every night.  At the time that was unusual, but now it is un heard of.  It gave us such a strong bond.  We really knew our classmates.
Every college has convocation, and other ceremonies, but we were required to attend six a year and we would have to pay a fine or do labor if we missed them.  We had to go to Convocation, Festival of Lessons and Carols, May Day and Founder’s Day.  We detested dressing for all the ceremonies, but it was really special.
Another special tradition at Converse is the Big Sis/ Little Sis tradition.  During the first few weeks, freshman, juniors and transfers attend a series of mixers and fun activity nights.  Each Freshman is chosen by a Junior to be a little sis.  During Big Sis Lil Sis Week, the big sister’s identity is a carefully guarded secret. At night, mysterious runners deliver presents and goodies.  The even number classes are Pink Panthers and the odd numbered classes are Red Devils.  Of course I was a Pink Panther.  Pink is much better than red.  Old loyalties die hard.
So this weekend I will be reconnecting with women who share a common experience with me, but also love for the college who made us into the women we are today.


  1. Wow, what a neat experience. I know that you all have such a close bond with each other which is priceless! I'm wondering if they still do the sit down dinner? I love that but it seems that so many of those sorts of traditions have been let go?

  2. Beautifully stated, Holly. What a great kick off for the weekend!

  3. Amazing! My favorite line "My Converse friends will be there if I need them. Period." Can't wait to see you!
    Ashley G. Millinor


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