Lynn Satterfield ’83’s first contact with Goucher College was inauspicious. She received an unsolicited brochure for the college at her home in North Carolina. It was headed for the trash when her father saw it.
“My dad said ‘What’s that?’” she recalls. “Oh, some girls’ school out of state, I think it’s called Goo-Shay.”
Luckily, the new director of alumnae/i affairs says, her father knew more (including the pronunciation). He’d seen the school win on the “College Bowl” quiz show and been impressed. On his insistence, they drove up to Baltimore.
It was a successful visit—Satterfield applied and attended. “We all came from different places, and we were all new, which was great,” she says now. “It’s nice to try something new and different, and it was the best thing I did.”
She came back a few years after graduating and worked for a time in the Admissions Office. (She conducted the first interview with a male student applying to the newly coed Goucher.)
Since leaving Goucher, Satterfield has worked in development and alumni relations at a number of area schools, running events at the Roland Park Country School and St. Timothy’s School
in Stevenson, Maryland. Most recently she was the admissions and development coordinator at Chesapeake Montessori School in Annapolis.
Now she’s back, and she’s been learning the ropes as she attends to the thousand details that make up Alumnae/i Weekend.
Satterfield has a history with the college, but Executive Director of Alumnae/i Engagement Jennifer Pawlo-Johnstone is a new presence on Goucher’s campus, albeit one with a lot of experience in the field of alumni relations. She came to the area in 1996 to work at Towson University, and more recently has been working at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, or Poly, as it’s known locally.
As Baltimoreans know, the answer to “What school did you attend?” usually refers to high schools, and Poly—once the male counterpart to all-girl Western High School—is a big deal in the city.
“I learned that really early on when I was doing admissions work at Towson,” she says. “It was shocking to me how much affinity there was to high schools here. If I didn’t know, I would have thought [Poly] was a private school.”
Poly’s alums, like Goucher’s, are fiercely loyal to their alma mater, and Pawlo-Johnstone says she’s been made to feel welcome in Goucher’s tight-knit community.
“With any alumni work that I’ve done,” she says, “there’s always that thread of remembering that the reason these graduates are here—10 years, 20 years after they graduate—is that the school gave them something significant in their life. They want to stay connected and pass that down, to make sure the next generation of students has that experience. It speaks volumes about their experience, it speaks volumes about the school.”
And Satterfield’s experience here? After chatting in her office about her time at Goucher,
she pulls out a picture of her first-year dorm room, the walls decorated with a custom paint job she did with her first roommate. They got in a bit of trouble for that, but also bonded for the first time. She keeps the picture on her phone.