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Tattered bumper sticker leads to new friendship between Emily Fields ’16 and Daisy Jenkins Fletcher ’50

Emily Fields ’16

Just before the academic year began this summer, Emily Fields ’16 was visiting Nags Head, North Carolina, with her grandfather. She imagined the vacation would be a great get-away before she headed off to Randolph. What she didn’t realize was that a walk through the parking lot of her hotel would set off a chain of events that would result in her meeting a kindred spirit—an Even one at that.

“I saw an R-MWC bumper sticker on one of the cars at the hotel,” Fields said. “It was old and tattered, and I got so excited. I thought I’m just going into school, and she’s out of school, and she must have lots of stories.”

During her stay, she asked around the hotel to see who owned the car. On the last day, she made a spur-of-the-moment decision to put a letter with her e-mail on the car’s windshield. “I told her I was a first-year student at Randolph, and I had heard so much about the College. I told her that I wanted to learn more, and if she had any stories, I would love to hear them.”

Daisy Jenkins Fletcher ’50

That car belonged to Daisy Jenkins Fletcher ’50. Her daughter, who had borrowed the car for a trip to the beach, delivered the note. “I wasn’t surprised,” Fletcher remembered. “Whenever I’ve been driving and seen a sticker, I usually honk or something.”

While she also proudly displays her new Randolph College sticker, Fletcher has never been able to bring herself to scrape the beloved R-MWC bumper sticker off her older vehicle.

Fields’ note reminded Fletcher of her first days at the College, and she quickly sent her an e-mail sharing a few stories. “She e-mailed me, and then I e-mailed her,” Fletcher said. “It’s been fun. She is so enthusiastic and bubbly, and I’m so sure she is going to have a wonderful time at Randolph.”

Those first e-mails were the beginning of what both women hope will be a lasting friendship, and Fields said they helped her feel more comfortable during the first weeks of school. “I was curious about the College, and I really wanted to get a feel for what our alumnae are like,” Fields said. “It was great that we were both Evens, and she let me know about some of the songs I would be learning. She told me all about her professors and a lot about what it was like when she went to school.”

Fields began to see similarities between her own experiences and Fletcher’s memories. “I’m really excited to know someone who went through some of the same stuff I am going through,” she said. “I want to tell her my stories and I want to hear hers. It is neat to see how much about the College is the same.”

An American citizen, Fletcher grew up in England, where she lived during WWII. She came to R-MWC at the request of her father. “It was a whole new world for me,” she remembered. “The warmth and caring of everyone just overwhelmed me. I hadn’t expected that, and it made it so much easier.”

Fields can’t wait to experience everything Randolph has to offer her. “You always see these happy people standing around laughing with their professors,” she said. “I always thought there was no way anyone could be that happy in real life. But when I got to Randolph, it really was like that. Everyone seemed involved and excited to learn and be a part of a community. I like that, and I’m glad I’m a part of that now.”

Fletcher is looking forward to watching Fields embrace the life more abundant. “R-MWC gave me a great sense of values,” she said. “The things that were so wonderful to me initially and for the rest of my life were the friendships, the close contact with faculty members, and the Honor System. The College gave me a great feeling of belief in myself, and it made me realize that knowledge is important in living a full life. But it also taught me that friendships are right up there in importance.”

Fletcher is grateful that her alma mater is still enriching her life with those friendships, even 65 years since she experienced her own first weeks at the College.

She has no doubt that Fields will find the same sense of place at Randolph, and she hopes that one day she will be able to meet her in person. “I am thoroughly enjoying hearing about and sharing Emily’s experiences and have been telling people about it,” Fletcher said. “My girls even want to know how Emily is doing. It’s been a very bright spot in the past month.”


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