Where it started

Merri
Rosenberg
1978
Alumnae

Barnard has been my happy place for the past four decades, so trying to select only one significant Barnard memory from the past 40 years is daunting indeed. My 35th Reunion is especially vivid, when I had the opportunity to present a Moth story about the late French professor, Maurice Z. Shroder, who exerted such a powerful influence on my intellectual life. 
 
But undoubtedly the most significant has to be the encounter I had in the fall of 1975 with an engineering student. He happened to join my group of commuters who lunched regularly at the late, unlamented McIntosh student center. Our co-ed group, mostly Brooklyn-based, was a cozy, familiar set, so the newcomer was definitely intriguing. He was cute, lively and I enjoyed his conversation and quick wit. I didn’t see him again until another lunch in McIntosh a few weeks later, when the place was packed. My friend had left to go to her class, so this guy (accompanied by his shy, silent friend), slid into the booth across from me.
 
We soon started seeing each other (no one ‘dated’ in the late 70s), and my experience of Barnard from sophomore year on was inseparable from being part of a couple. And in that second-wave feminist moment, having an equal, egalitarian partnership was liberating indeed. I focused on my studies and extra-curricular activities (like being the Barnard student representative to the Columbia University Senate), enjoyed our late night meals at V&T and CDR with our friends, and endless conversations while sprawled on the steps at Low Library.
 
Ken Hupart ’77 SEAS and I have been married for almost 35 years, have two adult children (our son went to Columbia College, which gave us plenty of opportunities and excuses to return to Morningside Heights) and still consider our best friends the ones who’ve been part of our lives since our undergraduate days. On so many levels—professional, personal, intellectual—Barnard launched the life I’ve been blessed to have.