A thank you note, from 27-year CIA analyst, government advisor and D.C. CEO Kathy Pherson to the campus she spent two years exploring four decades ago:
“During my two years as a grad student at the U of I, adulthood snuck up on me,” says the Pherson Associates CEO, who earned her master’s in Spanish linguistics and Latin American studies from the UI.
“I was delighted to move after my wedding in August 1973 from the compact efficiency of a Sherman Hall single to a roomy one-bedroom apartment on East Healey. While I was enjoying the modern comfort of classes in the Foreign Languages Building, my husband — who’d just completed an MA at Yale — spent the year filing ink off his hands from the printing press he ran in the basement of the University Library.
“We’ve not been back to campus for over 40 years, but if we did we would certainly check on the Morrow Plots — a unique feature for a college campus — and walk the Quad, remembering the night dozens of streakers streamed along its pathways.
“During that year, we quit smoking, devised strategies to work in harmony that persist to this day, and set our future direction toward serving the nation through the Intelligence Community.
“Now, as we share lessons learned from our careers in books and classes on analytic and critical thinking, we credit the U of I for enabling our growth, our taking on ‘grown up’ responsibilities and our collaboration.
“Thanks, U of I!”