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Alumnae Celebrate 80 Years of Friendship at Homecoming & Reunion Weekend

Published September 13, 2018

Clarisse Coggins, Class of ’43, one of Nazareth’s oldest and most dedicated alumna, attends Homecoming & Reunion weekend each year. This year, Coggins will be attending her 75th reunion at age 96, where she will receive an Outstanding Alumni Award, and she’ll have her life-long friend and fellow Nazareth alumna celebrating with her.

Back in the 1950s and 60s, it was fairly uncommon to see women balancing work while raising a family. Coggins did, what seemed to be the impossible, during her teaching career. Taking little time off to stay home and raise four kids, she never lost her passion for teaching. Coggins demonstrates this same lifelong dedication as an alumna of Nazareth College.

Though she lives miles away from the college out in Waterloo, N.Y., it doesn’t stop Coggins from supporting the college in anyway she can. She is a member of the Founders Legacy Society, and she proudly attends several Christmas brunches, and the 51+ Club/Founders Legacy Society Luncheon each year.

After speaking with Coggins about her great experiences at Nazareth, she highlighted the lasting friendships that she has cherished the most. “In addition to the very good education I received at Naz, I valued the friendships that I made for the rest of my life,” she says.   

Mary Jane Hendrick Culotta ’43, has been friends with Clarisse Coggins for nearly 80 years. She will also be attending her 75th reunion to cheer on her life-long friend, and classmate, as she receives her award. Culotta and Coggins became friends during their freshman year of college. Since then, they still find time to meet at least once a year.

“There was one group of us that gathered together, about 14 of us, sometimes less. We used to meet every summer in Waterloo for dinner,” said Culotta. These short but sweet reunions helped them stay close throughout the years. “Clarisse is a wonderful person. Since I met her, I always thought she had a little extra wisdom. I would often tell her that,” states Culotta.

 

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Homecoming & Reunion 2018

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,200 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.