By David Nathan
Sixty-five years after graduation, Barbara Judd Ozinga ’55 still marvels at the impact her Lasell educational experience had on her life in ways both large and small.
As the longtime resident of Norman, Oklahoma, grows older, Ozinga finds that the anatomy and physiology courses she took as part of Lasell’s medical secretary curriculum help her understand the changes in her body. The medical shorthand skills she acquired at Lasell and first used when she worked in the medical field now allow her to take notes quickly and accurately at the many meetings she attends.
Out of the classroom, Lasell nurtured the pianist’s lifelong love of music through the Orphean Club and trips to Symphony Hall for Lasell Night at the Pops. She learned to play bridge with the other “day hop” (commuter) students in the Barn and continues to play today.
“The education was excellent and the faculty was top notch,” Ozinga says. “It gave me a strong foundation for everything that was to come later. I have developed a greater appreciation for my Lasell experience over time.”
To support an institution that gave her so much, Ozinga makes a gift every year to the Lasell Fund to assist today’s students.
“It’s very important to me to give back to Lasell,” she says. “I feel a strong attachment to the school although I haven’t been on campus for many years and probably wouldn’t recognize it today. I hope the students I am supporting today will help the University when they are able.”
Ozinga fondly recalls driving to Lasell in her Nash Rambler with friends from her hometown of Arlington; the impact of faculty mentors Muriel McClelland (“Miss Mac”) and Ruth Rothenberger; and heading to lunch with the smell of formaldehyde lingering in her nose after performing a dissection in anatomy lab.
Barbara and her husband, Bernie, a retired MIT engineering graduate, have lived in central Oklahoma since 1967. In addition to raising three children who are her pride and joy, Barbara immersed herself in the community and volunteered with a number of organizations. She serves as president of the University of Oklahoma’s Musical Theatre/Opera Guild. She also belongs to three book groups, a knitting group, a bridge group, and a music group; is active on the board of her homeowners’ association; and takes classes for seniors through the university.
Her secret to aging with grace is simple: “When you get older, it’s very important to always have something to look forward to and to stay engaged,” she says. “I don’t want to just sit and let cobwebs grow around me.”