Kathy Fowler Bahnson

 Why did you decide to go to college?   Was it difficult financially or socially?   What did you want to get out of it?

  • I had graduated in the college track in high school and it was what all my peers were doing.   It was very difficult financially.   My parents had not planned to help me, so I cobbled together my tuition for all 4 years from The State Teachers Scholarship, summer jobs working for the U.S. government, and a bank loan.   My parents gave me $5/month allowance, which simply paid for stamps for letters, a couple of cokes in the Student union and feminine products.   Socially, I held my own, because I was dating a young man who went to Va. Tech.   I formed strong and lasting friendships at MWC and still am in contact with several of them today.   I wanted to be a teacher and had since I was 5 years old.   It was a great education for that in my opinion.


What kind of career options were available for someone who went to college vs. someone who did not?

  • Education,  medical options if you transferred to U.Va in your junior year;  many women planned on going to graduate school after MWC; loads of others got married and didn’t enter the job market until their children were in school.   Those who did not go to college, worked in clerical jobs, and jobs that didn’t require a degree.

 What was the dress code?  

  • Strict dress code; no pants to class or on College St.   We wore skirts, sweaters and blouses to class.   Most of us adopted a standard outfit and kept those clean and wore them all the time.

What was dating like?

  • Dating was mostly on weekends for freshmen, when young men would come to the dorm and spend time meeting the house mother and talking in the parlor.   This lasted for 2-3 dates before you could go out in a car off campus.   We dated men from Quantico, locals, other college campuses – Uva, Va Tech, Randolph Macon, VMI, Univ. of Richmond.   There were mixers.   We would go to movies, out to dinner in local pubs, etc.

Atmosphere on campus?   

  • Academics were very important;   attended campus cultural events, movies; not much partying on campus, unless celebrating friends’ birthdays  The atmosphere was mostly Cordial, pleasant, warm, and serious about school and fun!!

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