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Lisa Phillips '71

Last night, I met with a group of very smart women in our monthly series, Coffee with Bright Broads.    Not a book club or collection of close, personal friends, this group was founded with one central idea -- our brains keep working after college in ways that transcend concerns of everyday life.    Five women, independently, thought it would be good to find smart women and talk, and talk, and talk about everything from the roots of World War II within the peace of World War I, to required literacy in the Jewish community in the 1st Century AD and how that defined a people more than religious belief.  A little Vassar history department has been created in nowhere, West Virginia because of this group.   We think.    We have a breadth of vision we use for our own pleasure at these meetings.  But since the meetings began years ago, our small band now is made up of a County Commissioner, a City Councilwoman, a land use magistrate and various arts, humanities and library board members and two late in life published fiction writers.  Outsiders call us Glue. We take it as a complement.

History was important to my career in politics -- there is nothing like learning about the Byzantine Empire to make working in a Congressional office easy.    It then became my brain candy with a group of like-minded women.   We have now, while continuing our monthly meetings, gone on to be effective members of government and public service for an impoverished area.  Those we began to mentor years ago are now at Amherst, Haverford and other top ranked schools to which our county public school system never referred them - never thought beyond West Virginia University.    Thank you Vassar.   Thank you Professor Tony Wohl and others in the history department.    You helped produce not only a content and engaged graduate, but one who has been able to touch others.

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