Late into the afternoon things were still bumpin’ in the Mary Atkins Lounge with food on the table, balloons tied to chairs and women engaged in scintillating conversation, after what proved to be a “fun and festive” Mary Atkins Day Celebration, according Tallon Leland-Nunez.
The celebration was in honor of the resumer lounge, its members, staff, and history. Frequented mostly by commuting students who use it as a second home, the Mary Atkins lounge addition was built in 1994.
“I’m only on campus twice a week,” said Sonoma County resident Leland-Nunez, “but I’m in the lounge all the time. It takes two hours for me to drive here in the morning and two hours to drive home, so during the day I take naps here, I put my lunch in the fridge, and I chat with friends.”
Another reason for the celebration was to appreciate the hardworking Mary Atkins board and staff, said Leland -Nunez.
Awards were given to Mary Atkins regulars for their contributions to the lounge. Melonie Gadener and Rahel Negusse tied for “Most Beautiful Mary Atkins Woman.” Cherri Taylor, Selena Hammontree, and Gina Kim took home the “Dish Goddess” award and Tallon Leland-Nunez and Nancy Rothstein were the “Lounge Lizard.”
The resumer lounge was named after Mary Atkins who was hired in 1854 to work at The Young Ladies Seminary school, which is now Mills College. The trustees hired her because of her extraordinary experience and skills. She graduated from Oberlin College, the first college in the United States to open its doors to women.
“It’s my home away from home,” said Dahli Tuttman, while munching on a piece of broccoli. “No, it’s my home.”