Ann Parsons Klump '60

Which dorm did you live in?
Best Hall. My first year I was in the basement but my second-year room had a beautiful mountain view.

What do you remember most about Colby-Sawyer?
I remember it as a wonderful place on a hill in a valley of mountains. I enjoyed skiing to ski classes through the snow-laden trees and coming out at the top of the ski slope, overlooking the lake. And, of course, the excitement and surprise of Mountain Day is a happy memory.

Where do you live now?
Worcester, Mass., where I was born. After marrying my husband, John, in 1961, we lived in various places across New England. I moved back to Worcester in 1971.

What are you doing these days?
At the end of 2001 I retired from my job at the telephone company after 28 years. Now I'm working as a clown. Also, last year I completed a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies from Worcester State College.

That's quite the retirement plan. How did you become a clown?
My husband had volunteered as a clown for his fraternal organization, which got me interested. I went to a clown convention and began learning the ropes--like how to do balloons with a pump. I started doing it part time, working birthday parties, store openings, festivals, etc. After retirement I went to Mooseburger Camp in Minnesota for clown training; the phone company paid for the camp under a retraining benefit.

A lot of kids seem to be afraid of clowns.
I don't say “afraid” I say “discerning.” It's important for people to realize that children are being discerning when they shy away from clowns. I can count on one hand the number of children that haven't gotten over being apprehensive when I appear at a party.

And what prompted you to return to college?
Worcester State College offers free education to people over 60, so I began taking classes—basically to survive the winter! Then I got more serious about getting a degree. Urban Studies proved to be a good major as it's quite varied. Now I'm thinking about getting my master's.

It sounds like going back to college agreed with you.
It was great to be in school with young people. I also was an officer of the Elder Advocates student organization and raised money for scholarships by doing clown jobs for organizations. A theater production of “Carnival” gave me a chance to do costumes and make up the clowns in the show.

So, should we assume your favorite movie is "Patch Adams"?
Well, I don't watch a lot of movies. But "Patch Adams" was good.

Favorite TV show?
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"

What was the last book you read?
From Fear to Love by Yvette Parsons – who just happens to be married to my nephew!

As a recent graduate do you have any words of advice for the class of 2008?
Put your best foot forward, try to be positive, and don't burn any bridges.

How about for your former classmates?
Stay active! I look forward to future careers when I have more time.

Know an alumna/us who should be here? Let us know!

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