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Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, PA 17325

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Janet Morgan Riggs

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Janet Morgan Riggs

Professor of Psychology

Class of 1977

Day #3 at Gettysburg

A friend and I were in front of Plank Gym looking for a couple of guys we'd met the night before.  Ed Riggs and another guy came up and started talking to us. I don't know what got into me-but I made up a story about how I spent my summer surfing in New Jersey. (I've never been on a surfboard in my life.) 

My friend knew I was lying, and I think I was carrying on for her entertainment.  Ed started asking me questions about what kind of board I used, and I just kept making up answers!!  Over those first few weeks, we kept bumping into each other and one thing led to another...I eventually had to tell him that I wasn't a surfer, but he married me anyway!!

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I remember "traying" in the snow.  We would "borrow" cafeteria trays, go to Cemetery Hill at night and go flying down into the dark.  It was great fun.  (Of course we always returned the trays when we were done...)

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Captain of the color guard.

My first year I lived on third floor Huber and we had such a great time at our end of the floor. We called ourselves the "People" after Barbra Streisand's song and we pretty much acted like lunatics!  (What's strange is that we now live less than a block from where I started out in Huber!)

The big challenge was walking back from the dining hall, past the SAE's who were always out on their roof ready to holler or throw water on us.

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Ed and I on graduation day.

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I began college as a math major, but somehow got "stuck" my first semester in a Psych 101 class I didn't want.

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Oct. 9, 1974... bid night for Chi Omega.

The psych. class was better than I thought, so I took another... the next thing I knew I was declaring a double major in psych. and math. That was a weird combination, but I always had a feeling it helped me get into graduate school...proof I'd be able to get through statistics.

My best academic experiences were working as a research assistant  in the psychology department, and then doing independent research my senior year. These experiences that whetted my appetite for graduate school.

It honestly never occurred to me that I might come back to work in Gettysburg.

I was in my fourth year of graduate school at Princeton and all I had to do was write my dissertation. I wanted an academic position and had had interviews, but no job offers, when Gettysburg called me about a one-year position. I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone during the interview-after all these were all of my former professors!

They offered me the job and I took it, thinking this would be a great place to spend a year, get some teaching experience, and finish my dissertation. It felt like such a good fit for me; the balance of teaching and research was just right, and my colleagues in the department were terrific. 

Then I got to stay on another year...then there was a tenure-track opening...So here I am 24 years later!!

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Gettysburg College 300 North Washington Street · Gettysburg, PA 17325
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