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They Met in Art History; The Rest Is History
They Met in Art History; The Rest Is History - Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Oct 09 2009

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They met as art history classmates in Columbian College’s master’s program, but their GW friendship grew into something more special. Kelly and Paul Kuglitsch, now married and living in Milwaukee with their two children, credit the University with shaping their lives and their careers—as lawyers!

“We never, ever would have thought we would be both attorneys now,” said Kelly, MA ’99, an associate with the Milwaukee firm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath.

“We often joke that we paid private school tuition to meet one another,” added Paul, MA ’98, who is a contract services officer at the Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture after spending several years in private law practice as well as a stint in the diamond sales business. “And it was worth every dime!”

Kelly and Paul often reflect about their winding career paths that led them to GW and then back to the Midwest, where they grew up and earned their undergraduate degrees in art history at separate colleges—Kelly at Indiana University and Paul at the University of Minnesota. They were looking for graduate schools with top art history programs and found that GW provided flexibility, offering a curator or museum studies focus. And, in Washington, D.C., they would be right at the doorstep of the world’s top museums.

 A Friendship Flourishes

Their friendship began in fall of 1995 in the graduate “Theory and Methodology” class taught by Professor David Bjelajac. Paul gathered a few members of the class to have a beer afterward, and Kelly came along. “I remember it well because Kelly was probably the only lady from the Midwest,” Paul joked.

They eventually interned together at the National Gallery of Art, cataloguing, researching and writing—and then dating. Kelly fondly recalled the resources of the National Gallery, where she discovered a love of research. Paul enjoyed the work as well, and he also served as one of the museum’s lecturers.

 “I know that we both felt that D.C. and GW were the places we were meant to be at that time in our lives,” Paul added.

According to Kelly, the professional training within the art history program was outstanding. She recalled putting together compelling papers and slide shows on unfamiliar topics: “It was a terrific exercise in research, public speaking and presentation.”

Kelly and Paul also found that the skills they developed through Columbian College’s broad-based liberal arts program prepared them well for law school and for careers as attorneys. “In the practice of law, I value the critical thinking and creative problem-solving that was reinforced in the GW program,” explained Kelly.

They are both grateful for the emphasis their art history professors placed on clear and concise writing, and they relish the friendships they made with their teachers. “Each and every one of the faculty at GW was special to me,” said Paul.

And the rest, as they say, is history.