The Traditions Mistress

Liz Marchini is a keeper of Bryn Mawr’s many, many traditions

Lantern Night in 2014

By Chloe Vilkin         

Liz Marchini is a big fan of “mugging” first years. Just days before the rest of the student body arrived at school Marchini could be seen confidently crossing the auditorium’s stage, long nails catching the light as lead the new students through the first school tradition of receiving mugs in their class colors.

Marchini is a junior at Bryn Mawr College, a Political Science major with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies and a minor in Global Asian Studies.

She is also a Traditions Mistress.

Traditions are a large part of the Bryn Mawr College experience, as they often are with colleges and universities, but Bryn Mawr takes more pride than most in their traditions, using them to advertise for the school’s tight-knit community.

This sense of community is exactly what drew Marchini to Bryn Mawr in the first place, and what lead to her becoming a Traditions Mistress.

Traditions Mistresses are exactly what they sound like: two students elected for the academic year to organize the four major—and some minor—traditions at Bryn Mawr College. The position seemed interesting to Marchini from the time that she applied, but she had to be sure she was ready.

“I’d kind of sit with myself and be like, do I have the resources, do I have the capabilities, do I have the capacity to do this” Marchini said. She sat comfortably in an armchair with one leg crossed over the other, her bright white sneakers nearly matched her manicure.

As a former ballerina of 11 years and a musical theater performer of several years, Marchini does not shy away from commitment, which is exactly what being a Traditions Mistress demands.

“There’s not an hour that goes by that I’m not working on traditions,” said

-Liz Marchini

Marchini, later saying she was working even while in Singapore for break. “It’s kind of like just constantly diving for loose balls.”

Despite the sometimes-hectic nature of the position, Marchini went into it with a goal: make people feel at home. Traditions are like open arms to Marchini, welcoming everyone into a community where what you look like, where you’re from, or what you can do doesn’t matter.

Marchini wanted to help maintain and even improve that sense of community for everyone by being as inclusive and transparent as possible in her role as Traditions Mistress, “because I want everyone to feel they belong on this campus.”

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