1969 – 1973
Full of Firstsby Carol J Akers (Jigliotti)
My time at RPI was full of firsts as well as challenges. RPI life for me began at Burdette Hall and finished at the Quad. First, I had to fly 3,000 miles from home to a place I’d only heard of, to live with people I did not know. A very scary proposition for this sheltered young woman. Second, the academics were challenging. I was in awe with the old campus, and mused at how many brilliant minds must have gone up and down the marble stairs, causing a worn, ‘sag’ on both sides of each step…the ‘up’ side and the ‘down’ side. Third, the social life was even more challenging for this ‘bookworm’ from a remote part of the country. There were far more men than women in my class, as I recall 30/1000. Great odds for the women, but the men were not interested in the coeds so much as they were in the gals from Russell Sage or Green Mountain. I did manage to graduate near to the top of my class, in Physics, with a 3.49 average, out of 4.00, which was just short of my goal. I can honestly say that my Rensselaer education always was an asset, even years later, and even after I had my PhD, as I eventually went on to a successful career in the oil industry thanks to the RPI reputation. A physics degree from RPI meant that much. As a single, retired woman now with three homes, two in resort areas, I am thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to obtain an RPI education. I recently visited the campus for the 50th reunion of the class of ‘73. So much fun!