Listen to the interview (15.5 MB)
Helene Tieger, '85
Linda Murphy recounts that she came to Bard as an employee, working in the financial aid office. She began taking occasional classes, and entered the Continuing Studies Program (CSP), for working people who wanted to get or finish their college degree. Her studies at Bard and at other schools in the area - including Simon's Rock and Dutchess Community College - eventually led to Murphy earning a degree in psychology.
CSP classes were mostly held in the evening: "We all had jobs during the day, we were tired, and we were united in that way," she recalls. She had little interaction with typical undergraduates, but loved her professors - recalling her advisor Frank Oja, and professors Suzanne Vromen, and Bill Wilson, among others . Her senior project focused on the working mother, and asked whether men were helping out around the house more as mothers entered the workforce. At that time, her findings suggested : not really.
In her generation, Murphy recalls that women were expected to get married as quickly as possible. Most adults in her life discouraged her from pursuing a degree - but for a few encouraging voices, such as her high school principal. When she did get her degree, Murphy remembers it as one of her best accomplishments, and believes that in addition to the academics, college helped her to learn about life.
In a candid clip recorded after the interview, Murphy describes a story she wrote about Mrs. Fritz, her sixth grade teacher, for a class with Professor Bill Wilson. He told the class that it made him laugh so hard that his wife Annys had to come down to see what was going on. "I was so happy that I made him laugh!"
Continuing Studies Program, Simon's Rock, Dutchess Community College, Frank Oja, Jerry Kelly, Suzanne Vromen, Bill Wilson, Annys Wilson
BardCorps Trailer, Main Campus.
Murphy, Linda, "Linda Murphy, '88 (BardCorps)" (2012). Oral Histories. 25.