Few Bucknellians are as deeply connected as Joann Golightly Brown ’48, who began visiting campus as a child with her father, a Class of 1914 graduate. The grandmother of Jennifer Waters ’21 often returns with her own children, Jeff ’79 and Jill ’82. A class reporter for 70 years, Brown was a clerk for the FBI and co-founded, with her husband, an independent insurance agency that she ran until her retirement last year at 90. She will receive the Loyalty to Bucknell Award at Reunion.
1. How did Bucknell shape your life?
I attended during World War II, and seeing classmates go off to war made us all grow up much faster. It was heartbreaking, but you had to go on and grow up.
2. What class opened your eyes the most?
Even though I was a Spanish major, one of my fondest memories was English lit with Professor [Harry] Robbins — his love of the subject matter was so great.
3. What fun moment at Bucknell is the most memorable for you?
Playing flute in the marching band, working for Professor Hulda Magalhaes in the biology lab, but mostly the joy I felt returning home to Bucknell after breaks and vacation. I still feel that way every time I cross the river into Lewisburg.
4. If you could go back to college, what would you do differently?
During World War II, studying abroad was not an option. It would have been nice to study in Spain so I could have perfected my Spanish.
5. What lesson did you learn at Bucknell that you still carry with you?
I learned how important it is to work to maintain your friendships and not to wait for others to take the initiative. Call, write, text, email, but stay in touch with your friends.