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Kerry Allison

Each summer in my childhood, my family would travel from our home in New York to visit our Illinois relatives. My father would often take the “scenic route” past the beautiful campus of Lake Forest College. To my mind, it was the perfect college setting. When it came time for me to explore college options, the school’s small size, location near Chicago, liberal arts curriculum and excellent faculty were a great draw for me. And, during my time at Lake Forest, my aunt and uncle in Lake Bluff, both LFC graduates, provided a home away from home where I could take a break from campus life on occasion.

I graduated with a degree in art history, not the most practical degree to enter the working world in 1969. Nonetheless, I was grateful for LFC’s preparation across a broad spectrum of subject areas. I suspected, however, that it would be wise to supplement my liberal arts education with some practical skills, so I attended a business program on Long Island during the summer of 1969 to sharpen my office skills. I became a speedy typist and excelled at drawing pretty shorthand squiggles.

Armed with my new proficiencies, I moved to Boston in the fall of ’69 to share an apartment with fellow LFC alums Marion Porter, Sally Peterson and Dawn Walker on Marlborough Street. I soon landed a job at State Street Bank in the mutual fund division as a research correspondent (no typing or shorthand required). I moved up through the ranks during my three years at the bank, and I figured I’d found my career. But alas, the bank announced that our department would be phased out and we had six months to plan for life after State Street Bank.

A friend was considering Simmons College’s library science master’s program. I recalled conversations about careers in library science with Lynn Probost back at LFC. It seemed like a good fit for me, so I applied to Simmons and was accepted. I earned the MLS degree in 1973 and found a tight job market upon graduation. While listening to the Watergate hearings in my Beacon Hill living room, I typed resumes and cover letters for library jobs. After six months of searching, a chance encounter with my landlady led to a job as the librarian at a prominent Boston law firm where her husband was a senior partner. I guess my landlady wanted to be sure that I had some income to pay the rent!

I have worked as a law firm librarian ever since. It has been an excellent career for me. I continue to work to this day, though now on a part-time basis. I currently maintain the law libraries of three Boston law firms.

I was married in 1978, and our son Edward was born in 1983. Edward attended Belmont Hill School and Trinity College and now works as a mechanical engineer/project manager at a large engineering firm in Alexandria, VA. He is married to a remarkable young woman with degrees from Yale University and Harvard Law School. She served as law clerk for Judge Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit of Appeals, followed by a year’s clerkship with Chief Justice John Roberts on the Supreme Court. She is now a senior associate at a major law firm in D.C. Best of all, in October 2017, my grandson Liam was born. He is a bright, happy little red-head and I love being his “Nana”.

Five years ago, I married Steve Allison, having met him on Match.com. Yes, online dating services can really work! Steve has four children and five grandchildren (so far). I feel very fortunate to be part of his large family.

On a sporting note, in 1975, Debbie Robbins (LFC ’68) invited me to a party at the Tennis & Racquet Club, a venerable athletic and social club in Boston’s Back Bay. I joined the club, took up a squash racquet, and was soon playing in the Boston squash leagues and tournaments. I have continued to play 2-3 times per week ever since. Squash is a great workout, and I’ve met so many interesting and accomplished people through the sport. And as I have reached the older age brackets, I have found myself at the top of the national age-group rankings at times. At this writing, the US Squash computer says that I am the top-ranked woman in the 70+ age bracket in the U.S. This will, of course, change as those young 69-year-olds turn 70, but I am enjoying it while it lasts!