Wise-cracking 80s sitcom The Golden Girls might be before your time, but there’s no doubt that you’ve heard the first chords of that infuriatingly catchy theme song, “Thank You For Being A Friend.” For decades since its original run, this show has been bringing people closer together with its controversial stories, slap-stick comedic relief, and Rose Nylund’s dopey St. Olaf stories.
The titular “Golden Girls” are made up of four women: Sophia Petrillo, Dorothy Zbornak, Blanche Devereaux and Rose Nylund. While living out their “golden years” in Miami, Florida, they encounter all manner of shenanigans from get rich quick schemes to bait and switch first dates. Their personalities, though very distinct, mesh very well (most of the time), and they often can solve all their issues by sitting down at the kitchen table for a slice of cheesecake and a talk. Some of the faculty and staff here at ECU are so similar to these characters that The Black Sheep decided to take match up some of our beloved Pirates with their 1980s post-menopausal counterparts!
She’s sweet, she’s honest, she’s happy-go-lucky… And she’s never met a Monday morning that she didn’t like. Rose Nylund is “that” friend of the group, the one that remains almost annoyingly perky even though life seems to be handing her more lemons than lemonade. Dr. Rebecca Powers over in the Sociology Department embodies everything that Rose stands for. Her quirkiness, upbeat attitude, and compassionate nature are everything you need to make it through Race, Gender, and Class without killing that loudmouth in the back row.
One of the sassy members of the squad, Sophia Petrillo is a living history book; she’s got an anecdote for every occasion. However, sometimes, she gets so caught up in the imagery of her own tale that she ends up a little more than off track. Vice Chancellor Virginia Hardy is one of our favorite ladies for this precise reason. Her stories at Convocation are always compelling, funny, and uplifting… Even if you don’t exactly understand the point in the end!
Dorothy Zbornak is strong, smart, sarcastic, and sometimes a little intimidating. Although tough, she’s always very friendly and polite, taking care to look after the other girls in an almost matronly way. Ms. Bernice Gay, known to everyone on our campus as Ms. B, is the great aunt that we all wish we had. She has a smile and a hug for every student who eats at the West End Dining Hall, but don’t think you can slack off on your studies; Ms. B knows all, and she wields her power with a well-pointed eyebrow-raise!
Last, but most certainly not least, there’s Blanche. She’s the life of every party, and seems to be well-liked by everyone she meets. Ever the social butterfly, Blanche is always out and about with her friends or family, and she’s not afraid to use a story about her younger self to teach someone a lesson. Gretchen Brockmann is Campus Living’s Miss Congeniality, brightening the days of everyone she meets, whether it’s in the Jones office or around campus. Gretch is also a Campus Living veteran, so much so that we consider her a Pirate (even if she did go to Michigan State… we forgive you, Gret!).
There you have it, folks! These are the true Golden Girls of ECU. Be sure to say “thank you for being a friend” if you see them around campus!