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BobbieIn 1962, “Bobbie-Lee” Hewitt Orloff arrived in Pittsburgh with filled hatboxes, gloves for every occasion, and matching monogram luggage. She jokes that by 1966 when she graduated from Chatham College with a BA in Sociology, she “threw it all away for jeans and sweats (except at dinnertime, of course).” She became a “modern woman”—her future shaped by Chatham’s well-rounded, liberal arts education and exceptional teaching. 

Upon completing her undergraduate degree, Bobbie-Lee travelled the world, stopping in Nepal, India, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, France and more. She spent 40+ years in the nonprofit sector, working as an art museum docent, elder resource professional, and a Portland State Parks consultant, preserving valuable, historical resources while designing all-abilities trails. Most recently, Bobbie-Lee coordinated affordable housing in her community, working tirelessly to keep families in need together and safe—an important mission that dates to her time as a student at Chatham College.

Away from her family in New York, the Pittsburgh community and her beloved classmates provided Bobbie-Lee with a safe and inspiring home-away-from-home during her four years at Chatham. When asked what advice she has for
current and future Chatham students, she smiles, “Make it your home.” In hopes that other young women could have the same kind of life-changing experience she had as a student, Bobbie-Lee sought to make an impact in the form of a bequest. 

While flipping through the most recent issue of the Chatham Recorder, she noticed an article about FreeWill. FreeWill, an online tool to write your legal will, is available to all Chatham alumni as a complimentary benefit. Feeling uncertain of what the future might hold for her during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bobbie-Lee decided that there was no better time to create her will. She describes the FreeWill process as “Easy! I thought, this is fantastic that I can do it myself. I unequivocally recommend this service to other alumni.” Bobbie-Lee chose to designate a portion of her estate to Chatham University, one of the places she “cares about most.”