Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sink or swim

BEVERLY HALPIN CARRIGAN '52, a regular Archives pen pal, did some reminiscing this week in an email about Freshman Orientation in the late 1940s when she came to the Mount.

There was no Welcome Week, Orientation or much else to get students into the campus groove. Orientation in 1948 consisted of being assigned to a Big Sister who showed you the ropes: answering questions, describing courses and teaching the finer points of Mount etiquette. The word crap was not to be used, Bev discovered. "My response was that my mom used it all the time," Bev remembers. "Needless to say I expunged it from my language."

Freshmen were required to study together in the Coe Library four nights a week "under those dreadful chandeliers," she recalls. (Evidently they cast as little light then as they do today.) The Associated Student Body and club representatives made presentations in the Little Theater (now the Hannon Theater) and you were on your own. "No, we 50 or so first-year students had to sink or swim!" Bev writes.

No problems for Bev Halpin -- from what we can see in her scrapbooks in the Archives (available for viewing), she took to college like like a duck to water. She won a scholarship to graduate school in social work, married a lawyer who is now a retired Colorado Supreme Court judge, and is very generous with her alma mater.

In 2005 Bev and her husband, Jim, created the Beverly Halpin Carrigan '52 Endowed Scholarship to promote study in social work or social science. Bev wanted to help other young women achieve what she did, to get them into the swim, so to speak, at MSMC.

Thanks for the email, Bev, and thanks for all you do for the Mount.

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