Lorna Moloney Dreher '86
Owner and operator of five luxury boutiques on the East Coast.
In Dr. Shivers' Latin American Literature class I was introduced to Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, and mysticism. I believe there were only five students in the class. I was so young and literal, it opened this door to the surreal and a new dimension for me. I can reflect on reading One Hundred Years of Solitude where language was being lost. It makes one wonder now, over 30 years later, if we are living in a time where words have lost their meaning and we are unraveling.
Fondest WC Memory
It’s a montage of memories. Miss Dee’s, Coffee House, pool at the tavern and the Blue Bird, pitchers at Newts, Reid Hall with a pay phone on the landing. Tappa Kegga, Jim Beam track team, Friday nights grilling steaks at the new dorms, crazy '80s music and dancing like it was a sport, croquet games, magical mystery tour, and five-alarm chili parties. The ability to charge a keg at the bookstore and to-go cups seems crazy. Walking across campus usually barefoot, Dr. Janson-La Palme's Art History class. Any tromp through a museum would resurrect a useful piece of knowledge I wasn’t aware I was attaining. The fog on the Chester River. It was all pretty good.
Let’s Hear It for the Liberal Arts
At WC I gained an education, began figuring out who I was, made lifelong friends and planted a foundation. I stumbled at times and I’m grateful for old fashioned cameras with film and no instantly captured images or movies. I didn’t think about a career, I thought about the places I wanted to travel to and the freedom I wanted to keep. I fell into my career and it does seem to keep me traveling, provides me financial freedom, and I love what I do. The sense of self that I began discovering at WC, which was nurtured, has been instrumental in my life and career path.
We were pre-cellphone and credit cards were scarce, so cash was king. You could get a $25 loan at the Bursar's Office. If we were short on cash, we would take turns getting the advance and we would pay it back. That’s part of money management and independence and WC charm. I also took a Lotus computer class where you had to “write program.” That class I struggled to understand makes me much more proficient at work. Early on at WC I was directed to the Writing Lab where the women in the basement room patiently and compassionately sat with me and taught me how to organize my thoughts and write. The liberal arts education allowed me to explore and meander in and out of different classrooms while knowledge seeped into me.
It is the same advice I share with my two daughters: Balance. Everything moves so fast. Be present. If it’s the classroom be there. If it’s the Tavern, shoot a good game of pool and laugh. Enjoy the surroundings. Don’t leave school without having been on the Chester River. Strike up a conversation with that person you’ve seen around but never spoke to. If when whatever you are doing is not working, make a change.