Friendship Across Racial Lines

Christine Philpot '59 revisits her piece from 1969.

Philpot’s 1969 piece spoke of the racial division and lack of cross-racial friendships on campus but also spoke about the lessons learned while at BMC.

“Bryn Mawr did give me much of my capacity to cope, joy in discipline, and strength in gaining knowledge. The College led me to past worlds and hopes about future ones. It taught me to spot weak motivation (including my own), to question fallacious reasoning, and to devise rational alternatives. These gifts are not only nice words; they are useful in destroying racism.”

Revisiting her piece from 51 years ago, Philpot gives an update on building cross-racial friendships with Mawrters after graduating:

“Working with Pat McPherson in my teaching and deaning at the College gave me daily awareness of the processes of growth, unlike any I have known elsewhere. But with white classmates, having had only light, fleeting undergrad exchanges with them, I expected no post-college friendships. And there were none, for a very long while. Reunions sparked all three: Bonnie, Alice, Sally. Each has had no offspring, along with husbands beyond ordinary. Finding those factors key in permitting time and flexibility, my special affection for each one, 65 years after first meeting, has roots in the strengths that the College nurtured.”

This issue of the Alumnae Bulletin presents reflections from Black alumnae/i and students spanning 65 years in the life of the College.