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Goucher Vagabonds

Goucher Vagabonds

The 2013 Goucher Vagabonds team just wrapped up their two-week trek along the east coast between Northern Virginia and Maine. Along the way they met with incoming first-year students at send-off parties, interviewed alumnae/i about life post-Goucher, and made stops at several alumnae/i regional events. Read posts from this year’s journey right here and check out more photos and video on the Vagabonds facebook page at www.facebook.com/gouchervagabonds.

vag·a·bond noun
[vag-uh-bond] a person, usually without a permanent home, who wanders from place to place; nomad. vagabond. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/vagabond.

Gouch·er vag·a·bond noun
A person, always a Goucher student, who wanders from place to place for two weeks each summer to bring the current Goucher experience to members of our school’s off-campus community while collecting stories of the post-grad experience and tales of Goucher’s history.
A Goucher Vagabond is never ‘settled.’ While on the road, he or she is constantly searching, learning, exploring; having an adventure of excitement and inquiry.

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The Most Useful Degree

I have always loved Goucher and always known about its unique and powerful impact on a student’s life. My grandmother majored in biology at Goucher, only to run a women’s clothing store for the majority of her life. Similarly, my aunt studied chemistry, and now she works in Nashville as Director of the JCC. I’ve always had the perception that a college degree can get you somewhere, but a Goucher degree can get you anywhere.

This trip has proven that nothing has changed. The student body comes and goes at Goucher, creating new worlds within four-year periods. Clubs change, buildings change, the individuals change, but the big picture never really has. We come to this place to explore everything and everyone; we come together to comprehend anything and learn to work with anyone. The variety of careers I’ve seen through our alums and the variety of interests I see in our incoming students really speaks to the diversity of Goucher.

We spoke to doctors, lawyers, researchers, teachers, coaches, writers, and even a federal judge, and we spoke to others yet to be determined. Needless to say, the last few weeks have been an exhausting, overwhelming, and incredibly rewarding time in my life. I’m so happy that I could share the experience, and I hope that everyone in the Goucher family takes advantage of our resources. They can get you anywhere!

– Maring



What is Goucher Pride? – A Reflection

I always thought that having pride in your school meant going to sporting events and wearing your school colors.  This is evident at large universities across the country, but this overwhelming athletic culture does not exist at Goucher.  After speaking to Geoff Miller, Goucher’s Athletic Director, and Andy Nielsen, a former Goucher Lacrosse Player, I learned that athletics at Goucher come after two things:  1)  Being the best student you can be.  2)  Being the best person you can be.

So if sports are not a source of tremendous pride at Goucher, what is?  This trip has helped me find that answer.

Goucher is a unique place that considers every member of the community as family.  Whether you are an incoming student who hasn’t bought their books yet or an Alumnae/i who graduated over 60 years ago, you are a member of this huge, loving family.  A family bond is stronger than any other.  Family is there through the ups and downs of life.  Romaine Williams ’78 met with us a few days ago and left each of us with a long hug and a promise.  She asked us to call if we need advice and asked us to call if something great happens to us.  She promised that she would always make time to talk to each and everyone of us.

At Send-Off Parties, the Vagabonds team would welcome new students, their parents, and siblings into the Goucher family and told them that the connections they are about to make are unlike any other.

I take pride in being able to say that I have a Goucher family.  A family that will always be there for to support me through rough times and celebrate my successes.  Goucher Pride is unique, just like the students who go there.

This has been an absolutely remarkable trip and I look forward to keeping in touch with Alums that I have had the privilege of meeting.  I also look forward to continuing to serve as a mentor and a friendly face for incoming students.  I could not have asked for a more memorable two weeks.

With honor and much Goucher pride,

Eli Kaufman ’15

Bridging the Gap

When I first applied to be on the vagabonds team, I had definitely not anticipated all that I would gain from this trip.  Our two weeks on the road were a whirlwind of smiling faces both in memory and anticipation for Goucher.  I loved meeting every single person we encountered on the road and learned so much about our school and everyone who is connected to it.  However, I believe that the most significant thing I learned was that our students and alumnae/i may not have a whole lot of interaction, but they have quite a lot in common.  It is only now that I see that switching campuses and transitioning to be a co-ed school were not severe enough changes that they altered what Goucher has and always will stand for.  Goucher students are still extremely open-minded individuals who care about what is going on in the world and what they can do to personally make a difference in it.  They are passionate, motivated, and accepting and have all contributed to the special place that our school is today.  I plan to continue the work we have been doing on the road in order to spread the word, both to alum and our students: we need to reach out to each other to embrace our similarities, celebrate our differences, and use both to help each other!

Gearing up for another fantastic year,

See you all soon!



Reflecting From Home

I am back at home in New Jersey after a full and wonderful two weeks of traveling and shaking hands with Goucher family, new and old. Although the trip has come to a close, my work as a Vagabond will certainly continue… after I get a full eight hours of sleep of course! I fell in love with Goucher the moment I stepped foot onto campus (why else would I have signed up to spend two weeks of my summer talking about it?!). This opportunity proved to be much more than anticipated – bringing forth a deeper, more immense feeling of pride and connection to both my school and my Goucher family. For the past two weeks, the Vagabonds have asked both alum and incoming students what the term “Goucher for life” means to them. This morning at the train station, I ran into Nancy Gertner ’72, currently on Goucher Hillel’s board of directors and was later approached by a gentleman who told me his grandmother, Sue Hammer ’58, still gushes about her Goucher experience. On the road, the interpretation of the term was different for everyone, but it was evident to me through each person we had the pleasure to meet, that Goucher truly is for life.

See you on campus,

-Dana Ehrentreu ’16

The Halfway Point

I currently sit in a unique spot.  As a rising Junior, I am as close to the end of my undergraduate experience at Goucher as I am to the beginning.  We have passed the half-way point of this trip, and I have begun to reflect on my time at Goucher and what is still to come.  On this trip we have spent time speaking to incoming students and we offer advice and suggestions for a smooth transition to college.

We also spend much time reaching out to alumnae/i and we listen to their stories as they recall their own Goucher memories.  One thing Goucher students, both new and old, have in common are connections.  As a first-year student, you must participate in the Connections program, which consists of about 10 classes that meet on Tuesday nights for about 2 hours.  The goal of the program is to teach financial literacy and alcohol education, to show students the resources available to them on campus as well as how to adapt to college.  This program is essential to Goucher because it guides new students through the first-year experience.

Alumnae/i also have connections.  While these do not take place in a classroom, they are still just as important and help create a network that can serve all parties involved.  We have all heard the saying, “It’s not what you know.  It’s WHO you know”.  That is what alumnae/i have to focus on. Just as Goucher has prepared students with the course during their first year, it has also helped facilitate contacts between alums with the Goucher Professional Network (GPN) on LinkedIn.  These serve as resources for those Goucher relationships that are so helpful for Goucher alumnae/i.

At this halfway point, I have to remember the connections that I learned as a new Goucher student and I have to grow my own network to help me in the future.

With much Goucher Pride,

Eli Kaufman ’15

Give My Regards to Goucher

Today, the Vagabonds had the opportunity to meet with Goucher alumnus Michael Crowley from the MAAA (Masters in Arts and Art Administration) program. We got a behind-the-scenes look at auditioning, casting, and advertising/marketing for Broadway and the film industry! Michael recounted his days as a performer and discussed the MAAA program’s benefits for people who want to work as a leader in a non-profit theatre business. As a theatre geek myself, it was exciting to hear about the work he does and have a professional’s feedback on my own goals of opening a theatre. Michael’s work was very inspirational to me, and after having run my own musical theatre camp for the past 5 years, I was happy to hear I wouldn’t be the first person to work toward my dream in the theatre business later in my academic career!



Feeling star struck,


Victory in Our History

On Sunday, we met with Steve Baum ’11 at Regis College, where he acts as the Assistant Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach while earning his Masters in Communications. A self-proclaimed “huge sports guy,” he told us about his favorite Goucher tradition: ringing the victory bell.

steve and bell

I think any Goucher athlete can relate to the excitement of the experience. As a member of Goucher’s Equestrian Team, I’ve gotten to participate in the tradition a few times as well. After home shows last year, we would pile into cars and dash up the hill from the barn; once coming from a show in Virginia, we rang the bell loud and proud at 2AM. It’s always an ordeal, and it’s always very satisfying.

a victory bell


Feeling the Gopher Pride,



Check out some of our interview with Steve!