Residence life sparks friendships that last
By Marcia Porter |
July 19, 2012
It’s a sunny afternoon when Marie Donovan, Linda White and Ellen Turpin meet for a photo outside Coughlan College.
The red brick building is home to the Math Learning Centre, and also a student residence, but was once a dedicated student residence owned by the United Church of Canada.
Ms. White and Ms. Turpin spent a few memorable years living there; all three of the women served as proctors.
“Coughlan was very progressive,” said Ms. White, obviously proud of the building's legacy. “It was the first and only co-ed (church-owned) residence, and students who lived here came from all denominations, to reflect the larger society.”
Ms. Turpin speaks up when the three pass through the main entrance.
“Walking through those doors brings back so many memories. I remember my first year, I was so intimidated, but thankfully my sister was here.”
Ms. Turpin, a lawyer with Aylward, Chislett and Whitten just outside the city, left her hometown of St. Lawrence and took up residence in Coughlan in 1977, followed by Ms. White a year later in 1978. Ms. White had just given up her career in nursing and was returning to Memorial to study history. She’s now Memorial’s archivist in the Special Collections Division at the QE11 Library.
“We were a pretty close-knit group and we did so much together,” said Ms. Turpin about her time at Coughlan. “We had floor parties and competitions and we really connected with each other.”
Ms. Donovan lived at home when she attended Memorial and went on to study law at Osgood Hall at the University of Toronto. Ms. Turpin attended law school at the University of New Brunswick, and met Ms. Donovan while articling in St. John’s. Ms. Donovan is now Memorial’s assistant registrar.
Ms. Donovan and Ms. White met at Coughlan, at a party Ms. Turpin held when she was called to the bar. The three women have maintained a steady friendship ever since.
“It’s nice to keep our friendship going when we’ve been through so many stages together,” said Ms. Donovan. “It’s nice to have people you can rely on.”