Kitti Carriker (’79, ’80) shares how she reconnected with her Centennial Hall roommate.
Mumbi Gakuo (’76, ’77) and I had a great time as roommates in room number 110 in Centennial Hall during the school year of 1975-1976. Despite our age and geographic differences (I was a freshman from Missouri, and Mumbi was a senior from Kenya), we became instant friends.
After receiving her B.A. and M.A. from Truman, Mumbi returned to Kenya in 1977, and we kept in touch by mail for the next 16 years. Coincidentally, though we didn’t realize it at the time, in the spring of 1993, Mumbi had returned to the States and settled in New Jersey at precisely the same time that I had re-located from the Midwest to Philadelphia, Pa.
When the dust settled after the upheaval of our simultaneous moves, we had somehow lost track of each other’s address. How ironic that at this point in our lives—after writing back and forth to Africa during all those intervening years—we should fall out of contact, when, in fact, we were now living a mere 100 miles apart. A couple of hours on the train and we could have spent the day together at a moment’s notice. Her two sons could have played together with my two sons. Sadly, it was much harder to re-establish contact back then.
At last, in the summer of 2009, with the help of the Find-A-Friend Alumni Locator Service offered by the Office of Advancement at Truman, Mumbi and I were re-united. Not only were we back in contact after a 17-year hiatus, but we were soon planning our first face-to-face get-together for the first time in 33 years. Whether or not it sounds like a hopeless cliché, honestly, it was as if no time had passed. In May 2010, Mumbi and I met up in Wichita, Kan., and then we met again in June 2011 in New York City—two times in two years.
Many thanks from me and Mumbi to the Advancement Office at Truman for making our reunion possible. We hope that our story is inspirational to other alumni and their long-lost friends.
Want to get in touch with a former classmate or roommate?
For privacy reasons, the University cannot give out personal information on alumni without their permission, but we can forward a message letting that individual know you would like to have him or her get in touch with you. Check out Truman’s Find-A-Friend Alumni Locator Service at alumni.truman.edu/FindAFriend.asp.