Getting an education isn’t the only benefit of going to college. For many Brown alumni, the friends they made while on College Hill are one of the most profound and important aspects of their college experience. Sometimes those friendships endure year after year. Other times they fade away as alumni get older. Then, there are those who rediscover their friendships years later and never look back.
For Tama Greenberg ’74 and Debi Coleman ’74, it took 13 years to reconnect after graduation. The two had met as first-year students and were close friends throughout their time at Brown. But after graduation, they embarked on their own respective careers: Greenberg began working in marketing at Dole Food Company while Coleman went on to Hewlett Packard and then was hired by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs to join the original Macintosh team, later becoming the company’s chief financial officer.
While Coleman had maintained her connection to Brown since graduation, Greenberg had little interaction with her alma mater. That was until she received an invitation in 1987 to a Bay Area Brown Club event hosted by none other than Coleman. She knew she had to attend.
“I went to the event and found Debi. It was like no time had passed between us—like we had seen each other yesterday,” says Greenberg.
The pair picked up right where they had left off. Over the years, the two would go to the ballet, embark on cruises in Europe, and even dabble in interior design. (Coleman would become Greenberg’s first client in her yet-to-be-established interior design business.)