“It was literally like we were each other’s home base.”
Devon Montgomery Pasha '06 and Zoe Leffingwell '06 met at a writing course at Bryn Mawr on the first day of summer going into their senior years of high school. Devon hailed from the Philadelphia area and Zoe the Pacific Northwest, but it was friendship at first sight.
They interviewed for Bryn Mawr Admissions while on campus that summer and made a pact to room together if they were both accepted. Guess what? They both got in and lived in "Pem West Third. The room at the top of the stairs.” They have remained closely connected after Bryn Mawr, sharing the struggles and triumphs from their individual lives and guiding each other throughout. Zoe is the godmother to Devon’s daughter, born less than 3 weeks ago.
When describing their dorm room:
Devon: We had our separate sides of the room. Zoe introduced me to Friends, and music I’d never heard before. I introduced her to what a snooze button is, which she didn’t like.
Zoe: And by “introduce” you mean assaulted me every morning with your snooze button. We got to the point where I would just sit straight up in bed and say, “Turn it off!” and “Get up!”
On being each other’s home base their first year:
Zoe: We were totally separate in most of our academic lives, most of our lives in general on campus. But we would come back together, and we knew it was OK to say, “I’m really scared about this” or “I’m really struggling with this” or “I don’t know how the heck to do my French homework.” [Our friendship] started in that room where we knew we could say anything to each other. We knew that we were always each other’s best advocate.”
"Everything about our love for each other is founded here, grew here. It was nurtured here. Even when I have been physically or emotionally further away from the College, it doesn’t matter because it’s still the thread that tugs at your heart."
On their friendship:
Devon: It’s just wonderful that our connection has matured from 17-year-old girls at summer camp who knew nothing about the world …
Zoe: We were very sheltered.
Devon: So as you learn things about life, and boys and girls …
Zoe: … failure and success and family and …
Devon: To have gone through so much of that maturing process together just cements us, I think, even closer together because we’ve gotten to share these crazy ups and downs.
On their connection to Bryn Mawr:
Zoe: Everything about our love for each other is founded here, grew here. It was nurtured here. Even when I have been physically or emotionally further away from the College, it doesn’t matter because it’s still the thread that tugs at your heart. I remember her carrying me down the Pem West stairs when I was sick. I remember us getting to walk down Senior Row for the first time. Or holding up our lanterns with all of our tea invitations on Lantern Night. It remains in you.
Devon: I hope we continue to make this place [Bryn Mawr] grow so there are Class of 2035 "I Met My" stories, that those stories continue to happen decades down the line. The first thing I thought of when I was expecting a baby girl was, “Maybe she’ll go to Bryn Mawr, too.” I can only hope that we continue to make sure Bryn Mawr stands, whether it’s through a financial donation or sharing with other young women what this place is. Maybe there is a chance for someone else’s daughter to come here, and find that friendship, or a wife or a sister or cousin, or whatever relationship means as much to them as mine and Zoe’s means to us. Then we would have done something good.