80 Years of Whittier Poets

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This Whittier Weekend will witness the gathering of many Poet families, but one family legacy stands out from the rest.

Meet the Kingsburys, whose family ties to Whittier College began 80 years ago.

The story begins with grandfather Ralph Kingsbury (pictured, right) who graduated from Whittier in 1933. He was succeeded by his daughter Kathleen Kingsbury Dobrzycki ’64, niece Judith Sawyer Arndt ’59, nephew Hon. Laurence “Larry” Sawyer ’64, and niece Nancy Sawyer.

Next in line were Kathleen’s children, Michael Dobrzycki ’98 and Lyn Dobrzycki Carty ’96 M.A. ’98, as well as their cousin Steven Kingsbury.

“I always knew I wanted to go to Whittier College, but never felt forced,” said Lyn. “Although attending Whittier was a ‘family affair,’ we all had unique Whittier experiences. Some of us pledged societies, a few of us studied abroad, and others played sports; we had a variety of majors and interests.”

But this family’s story doesn’t end here.

Lyn and her brother Michael both went on to marry “interpoetically.” Michael returned to Whittier for a few years as an adjunct art professor; he is married to a Whittier professor. Lyn married classmate Mitch Carty ’96 M.A.’98 on July 31, 1999 atop Whittier’s Founder’s Walkway (pictured, left).

As fate would have it, Mitch's family - the Cartys - brought another long branch of Poets to this family tree.

Mitch's grandparents had studied education at Whittier before him. His brother CJ and sister-in-law, Kelly Lynch Carty, graduated from Whittier in 2000. Youngest brother, Wes, followed in 2007.

“Needless to say, family helped draw all of us to Whittier, but Whittier prepared all of us to take very different professional paths,” explained Lyn. After Whittier, members of the Kingsbury and Carty families would pursue careers in law, business, technology, finance, even Disney Imaginearing.

As for the collegiate futures of this family's youngest generation...

“Our three kids love coming to Whittier College athletic events and proudly wearing their Poet Pride gear on [their school’s] college day,” said Lyn. “Our nine-year-old daughter wants to be an art teacher. She plans to go to Whittier and be roommates with the daughters of two of my Athenian pledge sisters. And the youngest member of the family, my niece, attends Broadoaks!”

Long live legacy!

-by Lightmary Flores ’17 and Veronica Galbreath M.A. ‘12

Above: The Cartys - CJ, Mitch, Barbara (mother), Donald (father), and Wes.
Above: Mitch and Lyn Carty (in center) with fellow Poet alums Nadine Barragan `09 and Steve Weston`83.