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Best Friends Forever: Bonus Coverage

Jumping for joy after the 2009 commencement ceremony. From left to right: Rachel Goldberg, Ashley Pritchard, Kim Rofrano, Devin Carey and Kristen Merlo.

In the Winter 2011 issue of the Lehigh Alumni Bulletin, we published Best Friends Forever, an article on how friendships forged during their first days on South Mountain have lasted a lifetime for many Lehigh graduates. For our online readers, here are three bonus stories about alumni who met their BFFs at Lehigh.

Sharing one roof for four years
By Ashley E. Pritchard ’09

My freshman year, I was housed in the C3 wing of Dravo. While in the highest freshman dorm room in between classes, activities, Rock the Quad and Rush, I met four wonderful women—Kimberly Rofrano, Rachel Goldberg, Kristen Merlo and Devin Carey—who I roomed with my entire four years of college. We came from different areas of the country—California, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts. We had very different interests, with majors covering Bioengineering, Political Science, English, Accounting, Biology, Finance and Economics. We were involved in different things—be it the Women's Rugby Team, Community Service Office, Varsity Rowing, Club Waterpolo, Jewish Hillel House and more. But we all shared one roof for our four years together—from Dravo to Brodhead to Campus Square to Birkel.
 
We were best friends throughout college, supported each other in our different interests and matured together over the years. I remember our senior year, when we won the Lehigh-Lafayette football game for the first time in five years and we rushed the field in triumph!
 
The best part of our story, is that we are still very good friends today. While we have had several "reunions" along the East Coast, Devin has since moved to pursue her Medical Degree in Grenada and I will be off to Thailand in September to obtain my Master's. We are hoping to make our first international reunion soon!

From roommate to matchmaker
By Mike D'Orvilliers 03

I remember the first time I spoke with my future freshman year roommate. It was the summer of 1999. As recommended, I called him before school started to see what items he would be bringing to our dorm room. His voice was very nasally, and he told me he would be bringing an air purifier. I thought: Oh boy… this is going to be good.

His name was Dave Kaufman and freshman year was a whirlwind. We survived break-ups with our significant others, midnight visitors (male and female), and an occasionally, if not daily, smelly pair of running shoes. But, by the end of the year we were inseparable.

Although we didn’t live together sophomore year (we did live next door to each other in Trembly Park) we became even better friends. Junior and senior year we moved off campus to 442 Birkel with four of our other BFF’s: David Hanis, Adam Chubb, Felipe Bedoya and Andy Bond. Those were two of the best years of my life.

However my friendship with Dave didn’t fully blossom until after graduation. We took some amazing vacations together to the Dominican and Costa Rica. We spent many weekends together either in NYC, where he lived, or in Bethlehem where I live. One Musikfest, Dave slipped into the creek behind the polka tent. Good times.

On one weekend in NYC, I introduced Dave to a friend of mine from high school. Her name is Diana, Diana Kaufman now. They got married last year and asked me to get ordained and perform their wedding ceremony. I obliged and it was an amazing night, one that only solidified our Best Friends Forever status. Thanks Lehigh!

The Roomie Trip of Fun
By Caroline Miller ’08

I could not agree more with the statement that “For generations, Lehigh students have forged friendships during their first year on campus that last a lifetime.”  I can personally attest to the truthfulness of these words.

I arrived on campus in 2004 with all the usual anxieties of an incoming freshman. Would I make friends? Would I find a place where I belonged? Would I feel at home at my new school? I was overwhelmed with worry as I moved into my dorm in Dravo.

Little did I know that I would quickly meet the girls that would become my truest, most loyal lifelong friends. Caitlin Monahan, Kelly Jackson, Emily O’Koren and I lived next door and across the hall from each other. We had all elected to live in substance-free housing and immediately discovered how many common interests we shared. We simply clicked and before we knew it we became a family.

To this day, I consider these girls to be my sisters. During our years at Lehigh we stuck together, rooming with each other in Brodhead, Trembley and Campus Square. Between our sophomore and junior years we began the tradition of having a summer “Roomie Trip of Fun.” Even now, despite living in different states and no longer attending Lehigh we continue this tradition. We’ve been to the Jersey Shore, Washington DC, Boston and Miami. The four of us keep in touch regularly and get together many times a year.

The friendship that we began our freshman year at Lehigh is still going as strong as ever. I know that we will remain friends for the rest of our lives. I am so grateful to Lehigh for helping me find such incredible friends. Friendships forged at Lehigh truly can last a lifetime!

Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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