Friends for Life
Sczesny, left, with Conboy in 2009 when Conboy was sworn in as a justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Margaret “Peggy” E. Sczesny ’69 (NUR), ’79 MS and I met in 1965 as we started our undergraduate years, living on the 7th floor of Brien McMahon Hall. We both came from working class families and experienced the whirlwind of change that followed. During our freshman year, we women students (only) had curfews, we had mandatory study hours in the dorm, we needed parental permission slips to be out overnight, and we were prohibited from wearing slacks to class. I still shiver recalling frigid winter mornings trudging across campus, barelegged but for oh-so-thin nylons, to make an 8 a.m. English class. By the time we were seniors in 1968, flower power prevailed, men were allowed in women’s dorm rooms, and bra-burning parties were not uncommon. Although our professional paths diverged, we maintained a close friendship for more than 54 years. Peggy went on to obtain her master’s degree in nursing; I ultimately obtained my law degree from the University of New Hampshire. As we each pursued demanding professions — she in Virginia, and I in New Hampshire — we shared a profound gratitude for the educational foundation we received at UConn. After I retired as a justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court, I helped Peggy relocate to an assisted living home in Richmond, where she passed away in March 2019. Peggy always lived quite modestly, and I learned only after her death, as her executor, that she had gifted more than $1.5 million to UConn’s School of Nursing. I shall always remember not only her deep commitment to nursing, but also her contagious enthusiasm for the UConn women’s basketball program, which sparkled until the very end.
By Carol Ann (Knott) Conboy ’69 (ED)