Family Ties

Family Ties

(Left) Grace Cummins ’16 performs in a Randolph theatre production. (Right) Donald Saltmarsh-Lubin ’16 followed the footsteps of his grandmother and mother to Randolph.

While waiting for their 10th-grade daughter’s high school play to begin, Margaret Decker Cummins ’78 and her husband opened the play program and found their daughter’s name listed with the other actors. To their surprise, her biography in the program said she planned to attend Randolph College.

“We need to go see it,” Margaret whispered. “It’s not the same school I went to.”

When they did visit the campus where Margaret and her mother, Peggy Fisher Decker ’48, had graduated, Grace Cummins ’16 came away with her choice confirmed. She kept making visits until she enrolled last year. “I had the same experience every time I came back,” Grace said. “It was exactly where I wanted to be.”

“It really does feel like we are passing on a legacy.” – Margaret Decker Cummins ’78

For more than a century, daughters, nieces, sisters, and granddaughters followed in their family members’ footsteps to attend R-MWC. Beginning in 2007, sons, nephews, brothers, and grandsons began joining the mix. Today, Grace is just one member of a growing class of legacies. Last year, there were nearly 50 legacy students enrolled. “There’s a lot of history at Randolph,” said Donald Saltmarsh-Lubin ’16, the son of Sara Saltmarsh ’78 and grandson of Anne Frankenberg Lasher ’53. “It only makes sense that there would be a lot of legacy students here.”

Cameron Hall ’13 started visiting the College for Pumpkin Parade and other events when his sister, Sarah Hall ’06, was a student. Soon, he felt connected to the campus and its traditions. “This set the standard for what I thought college should be,” he said.

He was grateful for the opportunity to attend Randolph and carry the traditions forward. “Those who joined since it went coed are excited to be allowed to be a part of it,” he said.

Margaret Cummins has found pleasure learning more about her alma mater through her daughter’s eyes. She has watched as Grace joined the a cappella group Songshine, performed in a musical, competed in the VFIC intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, and worked to keep up with the tough academics. Other alumnae with legacy students feel the same, she said. “We all have the same feeling of excitement that our child has chosen to attend our college, and that she or he may come to love it as much as we do,” Margaret said. “It really does feel like we are passing on a legacy.”