By Stephen Wilson

When Lily Bronstein ’21 said she wanted to explore an East Coast college experience, her parents, both California natives, listened. During her junior year in high school, Jill and Bob Bronstein P’21 traveled with their daughter to tour a handful of colleges Lily selected on the East Coast.

“Lafayette bubbled instantly to the top,” says Bob. “It made an immediate impression and was her clear favorite. The quality and reputation of the school were a given; it was more the feeling she got during that visit that really landed. There was a personality to the place.”

“Her high school counselor encouraged Lily to have a look at Lafayette as did my best friend’s husband, who went here,” says Jill. “Ed Devine, the admission representative in California, was instrumental as well.”

Jill and Bob’s son was already in college, so when Lily headed off to College Hill, Bob and Jill began their own transition as empty nesters.

“It is a bittersweet thing,” says Bob. “You miss them because you like them and enjoy their company, but you also hope you have given them the tools to begin an independent life.”

Of course, transitioning to college is never easy, and moving across the country adds to that equation. But Lily, from her parent’s perspective, adjusted nicely as she made friends, joined a sorority, participated in a cappella, and volunteered for Best Buddies, a program where students foster relationships with individuals with developmental disabilities.

“She has done amazing,” says Bob. “She jumped in, participated, made some great friends, and really found her place there.”

It helps when you have a little support. Jill has been involved with her children’s education from the start as a volunteer in elementary school and on various committees in middle school and high school.

As a couple, they opened their home over the summer to host a Lafayette welcome event for other West Coast students. 

“We are happy to support and participate where and whenever we can, even if it’s just little stuff,” says Bob. 

“Anything to help ease the transition for other students,” adds Jill.

So future classmates, College staff, current students, and parents gathered for fun and introductions at the Bronstein home.

“The Bronsteins were wonderful hosts for the California welcome event,” says Janice Egan, director of parent and family engagement and philanthropy. “They are very supportive parents as volunteers, leaders, philanthropists, and ambassadors, always thinking of new ways to further launch the College in the western market.”

“When your child is 3,000 miles away, events like this provide us a vicarious thrill,” says Bob. “We don’t want to get in the way of her experience but try to find little moments when possible to share in it.”

“We don’t want to miss out on this part of her life, so being involved as she is launching into the world is enriching,” says Jill.

It’s what makes coming to Family Weekend so valuable. They then face decisions like where to eat dinner. Lily had an a cappella concert that night so time was tight. They kicked around ideas, familiar with many of the options in town.

“We feel more familiar with what’s here, a part of this life,” says Jill.

“We have Lily to thank for that. It feels like home for all of us these days,” says Bob.



Categorized in: Alumni, News and Features, Parents & Families