Alumni Column: The Lifelong Colgate “Hello”

In full disclosure, I haven’t written anything like this, ever. In fact, I don’t think I’ve written much beyond a work communication in the last 13 years. That’s right, 13 years – our lucky number 13. It has been 13 years since I graduated Colgate University and I wear that number proudly. I get annoyed at buildings that don’t have a 13th floor – really, it’s so silly not to. I wear the Colgate traditions proudly, wearing or accessorizing in maroon whenever possible, even writing with a maroon pen at work.

So why is that?  What makes Colgate so special for me? I’m reminded every time I make the four-hour drive up to Hamilton, NY (now thrice a year thanks to serving on the Alumni Council – lucky me). It is truly the “Colgate Hello.” I’m constantly amazed by the friendly, outgoing, sociable and kind people I have met in the 17 years since I moved into West Hall on Colgate’s beautiful campus.

I count my friends from Colgate amongst my dearest friends. We met 17 years ago and to this day are pillars in each other’s lives. My core group of friends that I’ve known since my first year has now grown into the next generation (hopefully of future Colgaters) – four of us have daughters who all attend the same nursery school. Five of us are traveling to Puerto Rico at the end of February for a girls trip away. We have all attended and/or been in each other’s weddings, supported each other in all of our endeavors and been there for each other through the good times and the bad.

 Then there are my newer Colgate friends, those who I’ve become close with through our devotion to going back and giving back to Colgate – through Presidents’ Club, SophoMORE Connections and Alumni Council – that span numerous generations.  I say there’s at least one of us in every group of Colgate friends. We can’t get enough of Hamilton, Slices, The Jug and Colgate, and truly giving back what we can to the future generations of Colgate students and alumni.

I reference the “Colgate Hello” since that’s all it takes to strike up a connection. I stop people in airports, on the street, in different cities and countries if wearing a Colgate shirt – and their faces light up as mine does to make the connection. I was reminded of this warm “hello” when I was up at Colgate in January for Alumni Council and

SophoMORE Connections. At a networking event I could insert myself into any group of students or alumni talking and immediately be welcomed with a smile and friendly Colgate hello.

This, to me, is what makes Colgate special, and truly what I took away from my first steps on campus to each encounter with someone from Colgate since then. I continue to be as involved with Colgate as possible, as I want to ensure that the Colgate students and alumni of today and tomorrow have as positive a “Colgate Hello” experience as I have had, and continue to, in Hamilton and beyond.