Commuter: The Road Less Traveled
many Smith College graduates, after walking across the stage
in the Quad and claiming her diploma during commencement
exercises last month, Maurine Miller ’13 went
||Maurine Miller '13,
diploma in hand, with her mother, Lucia, on graduation
||Maurine Torrell '48,
after whom Maurine Miller '13, her granddaughter, was
named, and whose pearls she wore during commencement
65 years later.
But for her, the trip took only
a few minutes. No packing up her belongings, no wistful final
waves to Northampton through the rear car window, no days
ahead of readjusting to parental rules.
For Miller, finishing
Smith simply meant a walk back home a few blocks across town,
to the home she grew up in with her mother, Lucia Miller.
Even though Miller is one of
25 Smith students who live in Northampton, she is one of
very few who opted to continue living at home instead of
moving into one of the campus houses.
“Other students have the whole
panic of moving after graduation, ” she says of
her fellow recent graduates. “I feel pretty happy just taking
my time for now. I’m
living life, saving a lot of money. I feel pretty lucky.”
Miller is in no hurry to begin
her job search because she is continuing her work as a nanny
that she has held for the past five years.
Living at home
and commuting to Smith probably wouldn’t be ideal for everyone. Some students crave the immersion
in college culture that comes with on-campus living, not to mention the separation
“It turned out to be a great choice for me,” says Miller. “I could always attend
campus events, and I could always stay in a campus house with my friends if I
Miller’s experience as a live-at-home
student was much different from that of her late grandmother,
Maurine Torrell ’48, when she enrolled at Smith
65 years earlier, moving from Connecticut to reside in Wilder
A graduate of the
Smith College Campus School and Northampton public schools,
Miller recalls telling her mother as a kindergartener, “I want to go to Smith because I want to come
home for lunch.”
As a new Smith alumna with a
degree in art history (she minored in Spanish and completed
a museums concentration), Miller plans to focus her eventual
job search on curatorial or public relations opportunities
in Boston and New York.
For now, she is where she wants
to be, the place that formed her.
“I’m really proud to be a product of Northampton and Smith,” she says.” I’m not
in a rush to leave.”