Adrian Tinsley ’58

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Adrian Tinsley

Even as a young woman, Adrian Tinsley ’58 knew she wanted to attend a women’s college. Her parents wanted her at Swarthmore, but Adrian insisted on visiting Bryn Mawr, and Bryn Mawr won out. “I loved it from the outset and I recognized immediately that this was the place for me,” she says. 
After graduating, Adrian obtained her Ph.D. from Cornell in English Literature, and embarked on a career in higher education. “I told Mrs. Marshall [Dean Dorothy Marshall] I wanted her job and asked what I should do to get it,” she says. Adrian spent some time teaching before making her way into administration and, ultimately, occupying the office of the president of Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. “I think I was born to be a college president – I loved even the hard parts of that work.”

She credits Bryn Mawr for helping her to develop the leadership skills necessary for her career. “It’s also where I developed a strong sense of my own identity. That’s the value of women’s institutions and why it’s important that we ensure those opportunities aren’t lost for future generations.”
So when classmate Ruth “Tulsa” Kaiser Nelson ’58 threw down the gauntlet with a matching grant challenge for the Class of 1958 Scholarship, Adrian decided to “step up” by donating her minimum annual required IRA distribution to the College. “It was an easy way to give back.” 
As Adrian sees it “alumnae are obligated to support the institution they love to extent that they can. Most of us can afford to give something each year to ensure that Bryn Mawr continues to prepare smart women for leadership roles in the world.”

Click here for more information on making a gift to Bryn Mawr from your IRA.