Memories

 

Martha Gregg Chase ’48 remembers her great pledge class. They kept in contact for many years.
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Jane Hanna Reeble ’50 recalls seven women living together in the big room on the third floor of the old house where the Booth Alumni Center is located today. “We had a lot of fun!”

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Mary Anna Wolf McClure ’49 shares when she married in 1950 her wedding reception was held in the chapter house at 1246 Oread. Members of her pledge class were in their formal gowns and were hostesses and two Alpha Chi sisters were bridesmaids.

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Sarah Morris Cox ’96 remembers good times at The Wheel, being a member of the Marching Jayhawks, and the house cook Mark’s bagels

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It’s almost impossible to select a single memory from 2.5 years spent at 1500 Sigma Nu Place. We were there in “interesting times”, so one memory is of several of us glued to a window watching the Union burn from afar (spring of ’70). Another, much lighter memory (that sounds excruciatingly dorky) was when Laura Stoll and I (same pledge class, roommates) and our pledge daughters Sara Vesper and Debbee Ebeling “dressed up” and went to the bowling alley for dinner. Coincidentally, Debbee (my daughter) and Laura had matching jumpers in some exotic animal print. The only thing Sara and I had in common were pale blue KU nightshirts and white shorts. This was, I should add, in the middle of winter! The four of us strolled into the bowling alley (off campus; can’t remember the name of it), bellied up to the counter, and sat down on swirling stools to order shrimp dinners w/ all the trimmings. We spoke to each other in fake foreign accents the entire time, and made up the most outrageous lies to tell our server. Afterwards, we laughed for hours! It was one of the most enjoyable nights of my life! One more: Got hungry for scrambled eggs about midnight. Sara and I drove to the HoJo’s out on the turnpike. I bragged I could eat a dozen eggs. She didn’t believe me. Neither did the cook. But I did it! Easily! — Kathy Collins Reilly ’69

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One memory that I’ll always cherish would be during Family Weekend at the beginning of my Freshman year. Each year, Alpha Chi Omega opens its doors to AXO families during this time for house tours and other activities for the new members. I was extremely excited to be an AXO and invited my family to the house.

My mom, who is also an Alpha Chi Omega from KU, and I were in the informal living room looking at a composite when all of a sudden we hear “Oh my God, Peggy Malley?” (Peggy Malley (now Collins) is my mom). Perplexed, we both turned around. My mom’s face lit up and she yelled “Oh my God, Carolyn Fee!” Before I knew it, my mom and Carolyn Fee were jumping up and down, hugging and screaming. I was completely confused. I saw my fellow pledge class member, Erin, behind Carolyn with the same look on her face. I’m sure we were both thinking “Mom, you’re totally embarrassing me in front of my new sisters.” It turned out that my mom and Carolyn were in the same pledge class in Alpha Chi at KU in the late 70s. It just so happened that their daughters ended up being in the same pledge class years later.

The two were connected at the hip for the remainder of the day. During the house tours, my mom and Carolyn often veered off into areas of the house that Erin and I had yet to discover while retelling some of their AXO stories. Since then, Erin and I have become best friends with our own AXO stories to tell. We often joke that we will have girls at the same time so they can be future AXO sisters.

I always love telling this story. It makes me so happy to share this connection with not only my mom, but other AXO sisters. — Samantha Collins ’07

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Hanging out with my friends at the house. – Sharon Longeran Berglund ’76

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Christmas Formal 1981- we crashed the party next door at the hotel and danced to

1940’s swing music. – Susan Spencer Catt ’82

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Rush Week – I loved meeting all the young ladies going through rush and welcoming

new sisters into the AXO family. – Jane Stiegemeier Fee ’77

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During initiation I was holding my candle in front of me and my dear friend standing in

front of me got burned from my candle. We noticed something smelling and it took a

few seconds to figure out it was her hair. – Eva Kasmar Foster ’68

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1. Making lifelong friendships (a group of us have had yearly reunions for over 30 years

nor) 2. Watching the brave and fearless Shenaya Bhote-Siegel “ski” down Sigma Nu

Hill during a VERY RARE snow day in 1978 when the campus was shut down and

classes were cancelled!  – Leslie Carney Foster ’76

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FRIENDSHIP! – Sharon Rake Goble ’77

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Going to Aksarben for the horse races plus a AXO party weekend. And a late night

prank after an evening of studying at the sanctuary.  – Jennifer Hurst Gunter ’77

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I had phone duty at dinner time. The entree was lasagna. I bit into metal. That was

enough for me. As everyone came out from dinner they were talking about the cook

losing her wedding ring. Turns out what I bit into was the missing wedding ring! – Cynthia Zedler Halpern ’69

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Always studying in the Music Room at the Student Union. – Pamela Hutchison Hanson ’54

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Living in the old house. Meetings were held in the basement. Everyone smoked and

the air was gray. Every room was different, as choices were made by seniority.

Rooming with a senior I got a better room. – Julie Hodges ’64

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Living in the old Oread House and making the move to a big beautiful new house.

Loved my life long relationships. – Cheryl Walker Jennings

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Barn parties and RockChalk Revue. – Debra Schwerdtfeger Kelsh ’84

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Rock Chalk! – Jane Goodnow Komate ’57

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Having someone call me out of chapter meeting so I could go to the basketball game. – Kristin B. Ledford ’66

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Driving to Vegas senior year with 5 AXO’s in a suburban for 20 hours each way. We

saw the Rockies, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and Vegas. I’ll never forget that week

spent with some of my favorite people! – Emily Littrell ’06

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I announced my engagement at dinner at the AXO house in March 1950. I had written

news on slips of paper inside a pill capsule – inside a pill bottle.(My husband, Rens had

just graduated from med school and was working at Watkins.) Some of his fraternity

members – the Phi Gams came over to serenade us and we went out to celebrate. – Mary Anne Wold McClure ’49

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Singing around the dinner table, rousing games of “Oh Sh*t!” after lunch, Pink

Champagne formals, all night cram sessions with popcorn. – Sharon Briggs Morey ’62

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Paddle night – giving to my pledge mom, Brends, getting from pledge dots, Susan &

Robin. – Therese (Teri) Mufic Neustaedter ’80

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I loved that we sang AX songs at dress dinners. As a music major, those songs and

singing them framed friendships and a closeness with my AX sisters. A very close

second favorite memory was getting to participate in Rock Chalk Revue as soon as I

pledged was great. – (Shirley) Susan Olson Phillips ’61

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Singing before and at the end of dinner every night with my sisters/friends. – Debora (Debbie) Hamilton Sear ’76

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The initiation ceremony when we discovered we were more circus like rather than

reverent. We didn’t know we were wrong till a national member came – the horrified look

on her face! Too many memories compete for that. It was a special time. – Nancy Eckert Selleck ’76

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So many… hard to pick one. Vog-VE Night Fashion Show, skiing down the Sigma Nu Hill

on a snow day. Pulling all nighters at Visual Arts Building and coming home with Mary

Neiner, Leslie Carney, Vicki Meingo and Pam Blew to pig out in the room. Snapping

fingers at agreement in Chapter Meetings. Color coded /temperature controlled

sleeping dorms. Air-conditioned house in hot Kansas Summers. DIET JAR – 25cents for

every cheat and then writing checks to the jar. – Shenya Bhote Siegel ’77

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Having 2 daughters pledge and be initiated into AXO. – Peggy Miller Stephenson ’39

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Arriving early in the fall to get ready for rush- planning the rush parties. – Catherine Brown Stigge ’67

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It is hard to choose just one memory as there are a lot of wonderful ones. One in

particular that formed many more was living in a four person study. It was not very

spacious but for that reason I formed close relationships with my roommates, who

became my best friends. As I look back on those late night talks, dance parties, times

of getting ready for events, and sharing life with one another. I am grateful for that tiny

room that formed a basting bond. – Emily Teefey ’09

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Reminiscing about fun nights out over breakfast on Saturday morning. – Emily Schicker Thompson ’01

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Playing bridge before dinner. Listening for 5 shorts for a phone call. – Linda Lueders Town ’64

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Everyone dancing together to Sister Sledge’s song “We Are Family” at our spring formal

in Omaha. We also went to the horse races at Aksarben while in Omaha.

Always fond memories of the pinning ceremonies/candle lightings. All of the excitement

wondering who it will be. Also remember the packed family room each week as we got

together to watch episodes of “Dallas” on TV. – JoAnn Greenwood Westra ’78

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Candle light pinning/engagement ceremonies. Rock Chalk Revue – 1965 – sensational

talent. 50 year reunion: vintage auto parked on the sorority lawn, sisters dressed from a variety

of eras: 20’s, 40’s, turn of century. Judith Shea was sensational posed on the piano as a

flapper. – Joyce Voth Perkins ’63

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Sunning on the porch roof at the Oread house – polishing the silver with pledge class

friends – mandatory study hours. – Marilyn Bondurant Anderson ’60

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Since I was from the Chicago suburbs I felt like I had a home away from home at the

Alpha Chi house. I just remember the instant bond that I felt with my sorority sisters and

25 years later I still have that same bond with them, and friendships that will last a

lifetime. – Holly Landry Barnett ’88

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Little smokies for finals snacks! – Samantha Barrett Colburn ’93

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The friends I made, some of whom I’m still in contact with over 60 years later. Also the

AXO’s I’ve met in various cities where I’ve lived! – Carol Krehbiel Kreischer ’49

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The beautiful initiation ceremony. – Marlene Glass Sievert ’60

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Chasing the moon with Debbie Skie (she knows)! Many fond memories of a great

house and wonderful women. So sorry I cannot make the celebration- out of the country

then. – Nancy Strunk Willson ’70

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Many fond memories – I still keep in touch with some of my pledge sisters. Would love

to be able to attend, but will not be able to. – Martha Gragg Chase ’47

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Having dinner at the house and with Aunt Merle. – Karen Vice Irey ’61

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Initiation night freshman year – I backed into a sister’s car on our way to teepee another

house. She was riding co-pilot in my car when it happened! So funny and coincidental!

(She was my maid of honor at my wedding a few months ago! – Sally Campbell Bender ’06

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It’s not really a memory per se…lifelong lasting friendships! – Jenna Brill Kirk ’98

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How could you ever pick a favorite?? the late night weekday spur of the moment runs

around Lawrence, the random hyper nights living in the house, the late night talks with

roommates in the live-in rooms, even the beautiful moments now when we all get

together years later. I could never choose just one. – Kathleen Moore ’08

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Holding hands in a circle for the candle lighting – and all the cross-stitch that usually

happened before. – Lynn Davidson Barrow ’81

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My initiation was very nice and I enjoyed the other initiations in which I was involved.

As a mother of two boys I was not able to have a legacy. – Valerie Howard Burke ’80

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Too many wonderful memories to just choose one! However, there are ones that were a sign of our times;

permission from the Dean of Women to wear slacks on campus when the temperature dipped to 10 degrees above 0,

dressing for dinner in school clothes, the buzzer going off all day except for some study times (2 long,3 shorts)

Aunt Merlemeetings (Our housemother), men allowed in our rooms only for the Christmas party

(we decorated). Curfews for underclassmen, senior help, closets full of old tests, notes,

projects from previous years. Great times, well remembered. – Virginia (Gini) Bliesner Colburn ’64

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One of my favorite memories was on bid day! My roommate Julie Taylor and I were

waiting to see if anyone picked us. We were so excited that we both were selected by

the AXO house! I can’t wait to see her at the reunion. – Julie Anderson Dohse ’79

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Many memories-parties – Moms weekends- Barn Party – Loved the singing after dinner.

We had house parents – the Meekers. Larry would play his guitars – very fun.

Another awesome AX memory, when my daughter pledged and lived in the same house

I did. – Lisa Bushnell Littrell ’74

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I was a transfer member from Gamma Epsilon at Oklahoma State and my first semester

with Phi I lived with the other transfers in a house across the parking lot from the house

on Oread. My best memory was being invited along with the other transfers to move into

the official house. And I got to room with Donna Naylor Brooks, my pledge daughter, in

a room the size of a closet. It was wonderful. – Laura Shelby Mohan ’63

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I just loved laying in bed some nights and talking with my roommates. – Kerry Anderson Moloney ’90

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Rock Chalk Revue! – Virginia Baker Morrison ’58

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Meeting the wonderful women who would become bridesmaids in my wedding.

Playing Super Mario Brothers until all hours of the night to beat Bowser.

Piling on our tiny futon to watch The Bachelor and Sex and the City. – Julie Bunn Pine ’00

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When I lived in the house, we had a practical joker living with us. One night about 10pm

I heard the house phone ringing. I finally went out into the hall to answer and as I said

“Alpha Chi” I got an ear full of shaving cream. I hung up and ran to my room before

they came out to see who answered. She also put a raisin in someone’s toothpaste, so

when you went to brush your teeth it wouldn’t come out and then when you squeezed

harder a black thing popped onto your toothbrush. She also took someone’s soap out

of their bucket and painted it with clear nail polish so that the next day when she

showered, her soap would never lather up. She was a terrific friend and a lot of fun to

be around. In fact she is here at the Centennial, so beware. – Sheila McGovern Thill ’84

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Informal nights in the Alpha Chi house…ordering Pokie Sticks on Tuesdays, cramming

lots of girls in a corner room to watch TV, hearing Friday night stories at Saturday

brunch, cookie dough from the freezer, calling the house phone in hopes someone

would brave cold/snow/rain to let you avoid the walk from campus and many otherwise

mundane activities that were fun and memory making due to the girls I was surrounded

by. – Katie Rubottom ’01

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The wonderful lifelong friends I met along the way. – Traci Olds Ulvenes ’84

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Winning Rock Chalk Revue with the Sig Eps my senior year. – Juliann (Julie) Crider Wisbrock ’95

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Aunt Merl stomping upstairs about 3 am during fall rush to shut down the “party

room” (Marcie Holmes & mine) which was packed with girls – Barbi Brooks was dancing

on the desk! Meeting my husband, Cliff Jeffries, when we went caroling the the NROTC.

He met me at the NROTC sponsored party at the Dynamite – I didn’t go to any of the practices –

I figured I knew all the songs, but who skips a party! We’ve been married 48 ears and have 3 children.

One, an AXO from University of Southern California’s Epsilon Chapter. I got to put her pin on.

Sujean Classen Jeffries ’68

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The Oread House. – Betty Heitmann Piper ’37

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Singing our AX songs, having to go to mandatory study halls, blot’s but the bread was soft, not toasted, steak and beans dinner for grades; Aunt Merle and watching Ben Casey in her suite, pizza on nights with no dinner were served; wearing hose to dinner; pnnings with fraternities, especially mine was fun; Rock Chalk Review…I was the witch in Dark at the Top of the Tower; we were with the Phi Delts; Greek Week; our altruistic projects: getting a better room each year because of seniority; and much much more.

Meeting my husband Lee (Delta Chi)…blind date via Jerry Andre (Delta Chi) and Gail Suhrbrier, my sorority sister. Lee and I have been married 51 years now and we are living in Akron, OH and I am attending our Phi reunion… Can’t wait to see all those familiar faces!!! Give the grip and of course Phi hugs. – Mary Challinor Cole ’61

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….and some memories are better left as memories. – Janet Graybill Domyon ’68

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Aunt Merle, senior keys, senior door, steak and beans dinner, pink champagne formals, Sadie Hawkins party, pledge moms and daughters, and Rock Chalk Revue. – Gretchen Maatsch Pearce 63

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Receiving permission from the dean to wear pants when the temperature got to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, dressing for dinner in school clothes, and the buzzer always going off. – Virginia Bliesner Colburn 64

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Initiation ceremony, pink champagne formals, dad’s weekend, dogpatch parties, eating burgers from Easlight across the street. – Joyce Grist Evans 65

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Going to Phi Chapter Founders Day from Omicron. – Diane Wilson Blackwelder 67

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Living in the old house on Oread, making the move to the beautiful new house, and lifelong friendships. – Cheryl Walker Jennings 67

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Accidentally biting into the cooks lost wedding ring one night while eating lasagna during phone duty. – Cynthia Zelder Halpern 69

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Announcing my engagement in the formal living room during a candle lighting. – Kyle Cramer Ashton ’71

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Chatting with roommates and grilled cheese sandwiches from The Wheel. – April Wood Adler ’78

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Having a home away from home at the Alpha Chi Omega house and friendships that will last a lifetime. – Holly Landry Barnett ’88

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Stealing fraternity composites on her 20th birthday, water wars, and recruitment week. – Laura McClure Fasl ’94

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Being Alpha Chi president, and becoming friends with many different people because of it. – Janet William Storey ’94

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Having little kids trick-or-treat through the house, having fraternity boys serenade us, barn parties, formals, rush skits and songs, Greek Endeavor, and being a Rho Chi. – Aimee Crawford Wenson ’94

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Winning Rock Chalk Revue senior year with SigEp. – Julie Crider Wisbrock ’95

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Meeting the women who would become my bridesmaids, playing Super Mario Brothers until late into the night, and piling on the futon to watch The Bachelor and Sex and the City. – Julie Bunn Pine ’00

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Having two national presidents visit the chapter while I was chapter president and the Lambda Chi men running through the house in celebration of men’s basketball making it to the 2003 Final Four. – Anna Clovis Ritchie ’01

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Becoming best friends with a pledge sister, whose mom was pledge sisters/friends with my mom. – Erin Fletcher ’07

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Having Thanksgiving dinner in the senior house; everyone brought a dish, played games, etc. – Caitlin Taylor ’07

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Being pinned by my daughter, Caitlin ’07, at the alumnae initiation. – Deb Kayser Taylor ’09

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