On October 3rd, current Bryn Mawr students, faculty, and alumni of color gathered together to celebrate the official launching of the new Perry House (now known as the Enid Cook ‘31 Center).
The event kicked off with a Book Talk by Bryn Mawr ‘68 alum Maria Cantarella Ph.D in the Enid Cook Center’s Library. Maria Cantarella Ph.D ‘68 spoke to current students about her book I Can Finish College: The How to Overcome Any Obstacle and Get Your Degree Guide. She has held positions as Dean and Vice President of Student Affairs at Princeton University, New York University, Hunter College, and Metropolitan College of New York. She currently manages her own consulting firm called Cantarella Consulting in New York City in which she works with colleges and organizations on issues of access, diversity, higher education pipelines, and student success.
The Book Talk also served as a time for alumni to welcome the first years into the space, pass along valuable knowledgeable, let them know they are surrounded by support, and encourage them to reach out. This was a perfect opportunity for current students to ask those who have graduated from Bryn Mawr about their experiences here particularly as a person of color in a predominantly white institution and learn more about various paths they took after receiving their diploma from Bryn Mawr.
After Maria Cantarella Ph.D ‘68 graciously gave out and signed her book for current Bryn Mawr students, the residents of the Enid CookCenter ‘31 provided alumni with an official tour of the new ECC. The group tour was followed up with a group photo and a Welcome Reception where current and former Bryn Mawr students were able to speak personally about their experiences relating to Perry House and hopes for the ECC as a Black Cultural Center. The event ended with a dinner in the Community Room and was a night full of warmth as we were able to get to know each of our diverse and important narratives on a more personal level.