By Leigh Perkins Brown
Photos by Judy Watson Tracy
Robert Ourisman, Sr. ’78 & son Robert Ourisman, Jr. ’12
Robert Ourisman, Sr. had a very simple philosophy about his son Robert’s Big Decision to apply to Rollins: “If your kids are happy, their grades are more likely to be good, so it’s a smart idea to have them at a school where they’re having a great time.”
Hometown: Washington, DC
Majors: Business & economics (Robert Sr.); economics (Robert Jr.)
Origin of the legacy: Robert Sr. transferred from a business school in Boston for the warmth of Rollins, where his older brother, Johnny ’75, was enrolled. Robert Jr.’s mother, Eugenia Castleman, also attended Rollins in the ’70s.
Legacy pressure? “My dad’s obviously a big advocate, but it was really a last-minute decision for me. After I got accepted to all the big schools, I realized that I wanted a small school, so I took a chance, applying to Rollins after the deadline had passed,” Robert Jr. said.
Biggest change in 30 years: “That I’m not a 20-year-old student any more!” Robert Sr. joked, adding that he admires the school’s advances in “global” education.
Common bond: Golf, skiing, and Jamaica, where the Ourismans have long had a vacation home
Generation gap: “Real-time technology has taken some of the innocence away from these kids,” Robert Sr. said. “But it’s also helped this generation be more global and sophisticated in their thinking.”
Sweet spot: X-Club (Robert Sr.); Sutton Place Apartments (Robert Jr.)
Flashback: “There’s nothing bittersweet about visiting the campus. It’s all sweet. No bitter.” (Robert Sr.)
Token from home: Dad’s X-Club T-shirt (although Robert Jr. ended up pledging Phi Delt)
The workaday: Operating the family’s auto dealerships with his brothers (Robert Sr.); possibly joining the family business (Robert Jr.)
Unforgettable: First day on campus, hanging out at the X-Club with his older brother: “I was thinking, ‘It’s real. I’m really here.’” (Robert Sr.); bid day for Phi Delt: “It was exciting to get the one I wanted and to be part of their traditions.” (Robert Jr.)
John T. Attwell ’80 & daughter Petersen ’13
Building up your alma mater to your child has its risks, but John Attwell was unreserved in his praise of Rollins, feeling certain that if his daughter chose the school, the experience would be as rewarding for her as it had been for him. Petersen says Rollins “totally exceeded my expectations” in just one semester, so it appears father knew best.
Hometown: Carmel, California
Majors: Political science (both John and Petersen)
Origin of the legacy: A sister of a friend from Houston, where John grew up, was a senior at Rollins when he was a senior in high school, so he made a weekend visit and felt like he’d come home.
Legacy pressure? “None. I knew from the second I walked on campus it was where I belonged,” Petersen said.
Biggest change in 30 years: “Ancient campus buildings have been replaced with more modern facilities,” said John, who gives credit to campus administrators as “incredible stewards of the Rollins tradition, yet improving all the time.”
Common bond: Music (Petersen was a radio DJ for three years and introduced her father to her generation’s music; in turn she came to appreciate his music, even signing off her final show with “Baba O’Riley” by The Who)
Generation gap: “Petersen and I are great friends, so we understand a lot about each other’s generations,” John said.
Sweet spot: The benches behind McKean (both John and Petersen)
Flashback: “We learned not to touch Mystery Meat at Beans, but we really looked forward to steak night on Fridays,” John said. “Students don’t realize how well they eat compared to our day.”
Token from home: Dad’s vintage Rollins beach chair
The workaday: Founder of Attwell & Co., investment fund (John); law school might be an option (Petersen)
Unforgettable: Hoyt Edge’s graduation speech imploring students to make sure that whatever they did in life, they enjoyed it (John); Orientation, making six fast friends—“something my dad always said happened at Rollins for him, but I never expected to happen for me.” (Petersen)
Bailey Johnson Schuerer ’78 & daughter Allie ’10
Even with hilarious stories about her mom’s college days (did you know the Phi Delts used to steal the Kappas’ mattresses and put them on the roof?), Allie Schuerer never thought she’d be a Tar. But the coincidence of a dorm-room assignment and parallel experiences separated by three decades suggest that some legacies were just meant to be.
Hometown: Washington, DC
Majors: Elementary education (both Bailey and Allie)
Origin of the legacy: Many of Bailey’s friends from the DC area went to Rollins and she followed suit. She still gets together with more than a dozen of them.
Legacy pressure? “I didn’t even want to look at Rollins just because my mom went there,” Allie said. But the warm weather, beautiful campus, and feeling that she knew the ins and outs of Rollins from her mom clinched her decision.
Biggest change in 30 years: “Where’s the pub?” Bailey said. “I go downstairs to order a Miller Lite and a cheeseburger and I walk out with a book. It just does not feel right!”
Common bond: They’re both Kappas.
Generation gap: “The one thing I will never understand about Allie’s generation is their obsession with expensive designer handbags and shoes!” Bailey said.
Sweet spot: The Pub (Bailey); outside of Dianne’s Café (Allie)
Flashback: Allie’s room in Ward Hall her first year was the very room her mother lived in 30 years ago (when it was called New Women’s Dormitory).
Token from home: Allie took Bailey’s L.L. Bean tote bag (with the initials ABJ) to Rollins; Bailey had also used it when she was a student. Allie also took Bailey’s Kappa key when she was initiated into the sorority.
The workaday: Running her firm, Capital Financial Advisors (Bailey); after student teaching and graduation, teaching elementary school (Allie)
Unforgettable: “The incredible friends I made, lifetime friends.” (Bailey); “Fox Day. It’s such a good time.” (Allie)