Brooklyn alumna Frances Oliveri Baicich ’37 was unable to attend the Spring Reunion in April, but she was kind enough to send an update to her classmates, who were celebrating the 75th anniversary of their graduation from St. Joseph’s:
Thank you very much for the invitation to be a guest at the St. Joseph’s College Alumni luncheon on April 21, 2012. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. Please give my best wishes to those in attendance, especially if there’s anyone from my class.
I have fond memories of my days at St. Joseph’s. When I first entered the College in 1933, I was barely 16, alone and scared. I was the first woman in my Italian immigrant family to graduate from high school, so the idea of college was not the usual expectation in my family. I received an excellent liberal arts education at St. Joseph’s and made some close friends. I worked hard during those four years and gained a new confidence in my ability to accomplish my goals. When I graduated, not quite twenty years old, I had a B.A. degree with a major in French.
That year, 1937, was a difficult year for the country economically, so I had a hard time finding a job. I went to secretarial school to learn to type and do stenography and was hired by Morgenthaler Linotype. The company was expanding at the time because of some government contract work relating to the war. Later, I enrolled in Columbia University and received an M.A. in French. Eventually, I took the NYC teachers’ exam, passed it, and began a teaching career that lasted almost forty years. I taught French, Italian, and English in high school and junior high and eventually settled into teaching elementary school in Manhattan and later, in Queens.
On the personal side, I married and had three children. When my husband got a position as a journalist in Rome, Italy, I followed him there and we stayed in Italy for five years. After we returned to the U.S., we bought a house in Queens and raised a family there.
Now, I live most of the year in Clearwater, Florida, to take advantage of the warm weather and the help of one of my daughters who lives nearby. But I go back to New York every summer and stay in my house in Queens. If there is an opportunity to get together with alumni during the summer months, I would try to come.
Frances Oliveri Baicich
St. Joseph’s College, Class of 1937