Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Serendipity of Travel

One of the best parts of travel is the people that one meets.

In my previous blogpost, I wrote that I was off to Washington DC to serve on a proposal review panel.

When I approached my gate at Bradley airport, this past Sunday, I was greeted by a hello from one of my colleagues, Professor Lisa Masteralexis, who is the chair of the sports management department at the Isenberg School, and her husband. They are both experts in sports law and were returning from a wedding in New Jersey, which they said had been lovely.

On my flight from Bradley to Reagan National, I had the distinct privilege and pleasure of being seated next to one of the top lawyers in the country who is a senior partner of an international law firm based in NYC. Coincidentally, he had just been to a board of trustees meeting of the school in western Massachusetts that my daughter attends and that he and his daughter are alums of. He was flying to DC to give two presentations on corporate governance.

We spoke of mutual friends, what is special about the school that he is on the board of, and about Harvard since he is an alum twice over and I told him about my experiences as a Radcliffe Fellow the year that the then Dean, Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, became the new President of Harvard.

Our flight arrived 20 minutes early so we had to wait on the tarmac before our gate was available which gave us just enough time to close the conversation on a really pleasant note. Another common point was the enjoyment of taking the train from Westchester to NYC, which is his commute now to work and which was a special treat for me while growing up in Yonkers.

The panel in DC was a success and I got to see some colleagues and make new acquaintances. Plus, the weather in DC was simply glorious and I take full credit for bringing it back with me to Amherst. But the highlight of the trip was meeting the fascinating lawyer on my flight down.