Dr Jean Mostrom (Thompson)

1936 Collegian | Deceased

Jean on her 90th birthday

During the Depression, paying for private college, even with scholarships and grants, was difficult. My parents looked for the best education possible for me and that's why they chose MLC. Because of its strong academic and athletic programmes, MLC positioned me for success.

At school I loved running down the cliff high above the river to the swimming section (blocked off because of the sharks) and climbing the cliff again after swimming practice, zigzagging up the trail. I loved all the sports, especially tennis and field hockey.

After graduating from UWA in Arts, I was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship which enabled me to study Physical Education at Melbourne University, which I loved.

I was then selected as the first National Fitness Officer. Promoting physical fitness was a real joy. I resigned to join the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) when World War II worsened.

I got to know the captains and crews on our ships and enjoyed my time on the water. In Brisbane I met my husband of 67 years, Lloyd Mostrom, and after the war we sailed to America where Lloyd continued his career in the US Navy.

I continued to further my education, pursuing my PhD in History, and teaching health and PE to women students at the College of Charleston.

In 1951 we were transferred to Washington, DC.

My love of education and physical fitness has led to volunteer work with Girl Guides, Parent-Teacher Associations, the American Red Cross, swim teams and civic organisations. I'm a retired Professional Registered Parliamentarian.

In 2007 I participated in the Australian War Brides celebration at the Australian Embassy in Washington, DC.

Because my days at MLC and the Commonwealth Scholarship opened doors for me to pursue my passion for physical education, I have created an alumnae bursary to MLC to give other young women a chance to fulfill their dreams.

It aims to provide an incentive for attracting the best and brightest Year 11 students to continue their involvement in Physical Education in and beyond Year 12.

My advice to others is to keep on striving!

On MLC: I can no longer travel but my heart remains in Australia, full of many fond memories of MLC. My days at the school were full and memorable.