The Westhampton College four-year roommate dinner is a tradition that has been going on for at least two decades, and recognizes those students who have stayed together as roommates throughout their college career, Dean Juliette Landphair said.
When Landphair first started as dean, there was a lunch to recognize four-year roommates; however, she reintroduced the steak and wine dinner because she felt it was an achievement worth truly celebrating.
"It is a really significant accomplishment for our demographic to come into the university environment and connect with a roommate," Landphair said. "It is also a huge stroke of good luck."
Mali Kobelja and Laura Jordan have been roommates since freshman year.
"When we first moved in together, I was a little worried because we were so different," Kobelja said. "She asked me if I liked country music in our first texting conversation, and it was the only kind of music that I didn't like." Despite her initial worries, their relationship has been very successful, she said.
Landphair said historically, many students lived off campus, so the importance of a roommate relationship does not resonate with alumni. Residence life has since become a significant part of life at University of Richmond. "For me, when I look back over the history of the college and I look at the themes, one of them is the friendships that develop," she said.
Kobelja said she valued the respect that she and Jordan have for one another. "We have learned enough about each other that we are able to respect how the other one operates. For example, one night when I was volunteering late and I did not have sheets on my bed, Laura made my bed for me."
Westhampton students are known for having friends from college that they stay connected with their entire lives. Landphair said she thought this was because "a lot of changes occur during the college years, both physically and emotionally."
"I like to celebrate the contribution of this ritual (the roommate dinner) to the connecting theme of friendship at Westhampton College," she said.
"We are really proud that we have lived together for our entire college careers, and I think it's great that there's something to celebrate it," Kobelja said.
The dinner, hosted by Dean Landphair, will be Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. in the Westhampton Center Living Room.
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