Growing up the daughter of Peter Tomaras came with its privileges.
For one, Athene USA Vice President Natalie Tomaras says, “my Dad owned the Red Lion Inn, so our family was definitely immersed in that side of college life” before she took her first college class.
"Since I was born and raised in C-U, I did the bar scene and frat parties while I was still in high school — the drinking age then was 18 so not as shocking as that might be today," she says.
“When it came time for me to go to school, I chose to live with my folks and be a commuter kid. Ugh.
”I was as an accountancy major. I’m a morning person, so I took the earliest classes available, a full load, and when I got done by 1 p.m. every afternoon, I’d go to my job and work. I became extraordinarily skilled at finding parking spots and figuring out the timing of the meter maids, especially by David Kinley Hall — there were only 30-minute meters there — so I would escape the dreaded $5 tickets.
“Although I chose accounting as my major, my love was really for literature and language. All my electives were in the Foreign Language building and the English building. Accounting majors were pretty competitive, so I relished the chance to leave the business campus, walk through the library to dash into the English building.
"I spent any free moments I could in the atrium of the English building — back then, there were colorful chairs and many days gorgeous light that streamed down.
“I could escape my intense accounting classmates, and become somewhat anonymous in that space. I always felt transformed and peaceful there, and adored all of my classes. I rehearsed the soliloquy I had to memorize for my Shakespeare class there: Portia from ‘The Merchant of Venice’ — The quality of mercy is not strained ...”