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Girl with the Arrow

Gretchen Langenderfer (October 2003)
Kianu Alumna- Class of 2000


I think Gretchen Langenderfer is a perfect candidate for our "Girl with the Arrow" spotlight honor. I first met Gretchen when she was a wide-eyed skinny little freshman, pledging Kianu. Little did I know, we would be living together the following year in a program house on Lakeside Drive. The thing I have always admired most about Gretchen is her sheer determination. I saw first-hand how much harder Gretchen had to work at her college courses than most of us due to her learning disability. She never complained, though, instead, she pushed herself to limits that I myself can't say I would have been willing to go if I were in her shoes. She is probably one of the most giving people I know, as well. Gretchen would never ask a friend why they needed something (her car, use of her computer, her shoulder to lean on), she would just be there to support them, without question. If any of you know her personally, then you already know what a sweet, gentle soul she is. It is not in her nature to be vicious or catty. She is fun, and funny, and gives more of herself than should be expected. Gretchen is truly deserving of our respect and gratitude for being a wonderful addition to Kianu, for being a unique individual, for being herself.

Amy Harris Yamokoski '99

Gretchen Langenderfer is one of the sweetest people that you will ever meet. Her tenacity, enthusiasm, and kindred spirit are the three things that I love about her the most!

I met Gretchen through XAN but we became more than just sorority sisters, we became great friends. As my adopted Little's (Allison McGinnis) little, Gretchen and I had many great times in school and I am very thankful we have continued that friendship past college. Even though we don't see each other often, I know that I can call her anytime and she can do the same.

Gretchen has been through a lot in her life but she always comes out with a smile on her face. She makes me realize that no matter what is going on in my life, I can always make it through and ultimately put that same bright smile on my face.

Heidi Fought '98

Gretchen Langenderfer is a wonderful person and I am so thankful I got to know her while I was at MC. If you know Gretchen, you can’t help loving her. She loves her friends unconditionally, and can always make people laugh with her stories- you can’t beat that combination! She has had some rough times since graduation with health problems and deciding what she wants to do career-wise, but she never lets her problems get in the way of her concern for her friends. While at MC, Gretchen alternated between rooming with Kianus and non-Kianus, so she has many friends both inside and outside the club. I don’t think Gretchen ever had, or ever will have an enemy. She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, and her friendly demeanor has won her many loyal friends. Now that we live hours away, I don’t get to see Gretchen as often as I’d like. However, whenever we do see each other we pick up right where we left off. A few months ago, some of the alumnae from the 1930s and 40s wrote about the lifelong friends they made at MC; sixty years from now, Gretchen will be one of those ‘girls’ I still talk about as a lifelong friend.

Ruth Connell '98

If you would like to nominate someone for this profile (active or alumna), please e-mail ruthcseaman(at)gmail(dot)com with your selection. Changes are made as nominations are received.

To see other honorees, click on month:

Last Update: October 2003