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Opinion: ‘Ma’ Kelly an important figure in Middlebury lore

I must add an important footnote to the Independent’s amusing account of our re-enactment of efforts 50 years later to help Middlebury Beef Supply’s rooftop bull enter Middlebury College’s Forest Hall, which was in 1965 the senior women’s dorm.
Elizabeth “Ma” Kelly, Middlebury’s dean of women at the time, was the enforcer of rules governing the mixing of the sexes that reflected establishment norms on college campuses across America, not just ours. As such, she became the convenient personification of those rules for students of our era, some of whom may now think the pendulum has swung too far.
Ma Kelly also drew fond remembrances for her helpful guidance to students in our 50th reunion yearbook. Two of the 1965 culprits — Richard Ide and I — were among those invited by her and her husband, Red Kelly, to play in duplicate bridge tournaments in their home, with refreshments included.
Thanks, Ma Kelly, not just for making the bull’s life more interesting, as the story reports, but for welcoming Middlebury students into your home before drubbing them at bridge.
Joe McLaughlin ’65
Philadelphia

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