Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Emily Brundage Mohrmann, 96 – A search for “something more”

As we continue our year-long countdown to Post University’s 125th Anniversary, we want our celebration to include not only our current students, faculty, and staff, but also the many alumni throughout Post’s history who have helped to shape the university we are today. So, we are reaching out to our alumni who attended Post University throughout its history— to ask for their stories and memories, of Post through the decades.  We will spend the next year collecting these stories through print, and audio and video recordings that we will share as part of our 125th Anniversary celebration. If you would like to participate in our “Post Through the Years” project and share your memories of your time as a student at Post, please contact Bob Sembiante at bsembiante@post.edu.

Don Mroz, Ph.D.
President of Post University

The second profile in our series introduces 96 year-old Emily Brundage Mohrmann.  

A photo of Emily Brundage Mohrmann smiling.
Emily Brundage Mohrmann graduated
from Post Junior College in 1944. 
Like many Waterbury natives, Emily Brundage Mohrmann remembers when the city was a thriving manufacturing hub.  In the early 1940s, The Brass City and its factories provided job opportunities and good incomes for many area residents.   Looking back on her life from the seasoned age of 96, Emily remembers being a student at Wilby High School, and knowing she simply wanted “something more.”   Post Junior College filled that gap for Emily, and for many young adults of her generation, providing the skills needed to succeed in a rapidly changing wartime job market.

Emily remembers walking from her home on West End Hill to the red brick school building on Central Avenue, and the bustling downtown vibe created by “beautiful stores, great restaurants, and trolley stops taking travelers to nearby Cheshire, Oakville, and even New Haven.”  Emily was the first in her family to go to college, and traveled downtown daily to study shorthand, typing, and bookkeeping at Post.  She enjoyed the experience enough to complete her studies and graduate in 1944.   “I learned quite a lot at Post,” Emily says, “and if I didn't go to Post, I would have worked in the factories.” 

“Waterbury was very, very busy,” Emily recalls.  “You could go anywhere to get a job.  My husband worked at Scoville, while I worked in office settings using my business skills.  I worked in one Purchasing office for 34 years until that company closed, and then went into a sales position for 15 more.  I loved to work, to be with people, and was often the only girl in the office.” 

The most significant change Emily witnessed during her career was the introduction of computers in the workplace.  “We didn't have the mouse and all that stuff,” she says.  “We had big computers. This was at the beginning of the computer age.  I loved it.”  Emily lived in Waterbury her entire life, and was an avid golfer and bowler.  “I belong to the Prospect Senior Citizen Center, and we use the Wii games to golf and bowl now.” 

Today, Emily says she is grateful for her close family, including “lots of good nieces and nephews who are very good to me.”  Hearing that Post was celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2015, she was happy to share her story and help others understand Post’s impact on the greater Waterbury community over the years.  So many students like Emily have found just what they were looking for at Post College, Post Junior College, and now Post University.  As the needs of students changed, Post has changed with them.  But the dream has pretty much remained the same…”something more.”