|Ceci Sullivan Murray '60|
Ceci Sullivan Murray '60
What Being an Alumna Means to Me:
From the vantage point of 50 plus years, I can look back and say that Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart helped to create the person I am today. I graduated from Manhattanville in 1960 and started work at IBM in New York City. I was hired by David Kearns (who later became president of the Xerox Corporation) after he came to the campus to recruit for IBM. Three years later in 1963, I married the love of my life and became a traditional stay-at-home mom for fourteen years. We had four children in quick succession so there wasn't a great deal of time for other pursuits. However, by 1977, I was casting my eyes around looking for additional options and ways to use my education. My spare time up to that point was filled with children and volunteer activities Junior League trainer, school boards, church affairs and community boards. Then I embarked on my real estate career. I have pursued that for thirty three years and am still involved. However, one never leaves volunteering far behind. That is part of my DNA. As you mature, your interests change and you move on to broader areas both political and global. I spent about ten years on the Manhattanville Alumnae board and helped to run most of our reunions over the past 50 years.
How did Manhattanville fit into all this? It gave me the confidence to try anything and to succeed at what I did. I loved Manhattanville while I was there and ever since. I am very proud to say that I graduated from Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart. I remember that I carried an extra load of credits because there were so many interesting and wonderful courses to take and I wanted to take them all. The educational level in the 1950's was excellent and we were expected to succeed. Our required theology and philosophy minors, 32 credits in all, were a wonderful basis for a liberal arts background. Manhattanville prepared one to think and take one's place in the world and to stand tall while you did.
Today, I am a working woman and a grandmother of eight beautiful children. I love what I do. I love my life and am thrilled to have two married daughters living in New Canaan in the same town as I do with six of those grandchildren close by. I've spent the past eleven months as a co-chairman of my 50th reunion concentrating on the fund-raising aspects. It has been a good experience and brought me back to many former relationships. I've also created a DVD with pictures of classmates over the past 50 years. With the help of the Internet and Elaine Stillwell, our industrious reunion chairman, we have connected with all but one of our classmates. It has been a labor of love but definitely worthwhile. We have a terrific turnout for our reunion; we have 129 bios for our class yearbook; we are slowly but steadily increasing our class gift day by day.
I thank Manhattanville for all it has given me in the way of confidence, compassion for others and a love of God which I call my spiritual legacy. I thank the Sacred Heart nuns who were such an important part of our college years. They were wonderful role models of loving and intelligent women. Our class was a transitional class on the cusp of the volatile sixties and leaving behind the traditional fifties. We were a bridge to the future, feminism, working women and many changes on the national stage.