During her 30th Dartmouth reunion this past June, Mara Rudman ’84 suddenly found herself preparing for a wedding that she never thought she’d have.
“My first mistake was telling my friends on the drive up to hike Moosilauke that Jeff [Moscow, Geisel ’82] and I had decided to get married this summer,” says Rudman, a former deputy national security advisor in the Clinton administration. “I had been the holdout in our group about the whole concept of marriage. I thought it was a fine institution, just not one I would ever be committed to.”
She continued, “I specifically told them it was not going to be a big deal—we would do it very quietly, and Leah [Pentecostal minister Leah Daughtry ’84] would officiate. But I could see the wheels turning. The next morning, they said, ‘you know, Mara, if you’re going to do this anyway, why don’t you do it this weekend?’”
Rudman joked that her friends said they needed to first check with Daughtry, and then with her fiancé. She says, “Jeff was such a good sport about it all. I had zero question that being with him was the right thing—the question was about planning this function. But my friends know me very well, and I knew they could do this in a way that would take away any and all stress associated with the wedding.”
After returning to campus post-hike, the small group of ’84s shifted into high gear. Congregational minister Lucia Jackson ’84 got the marriage license and she and Daughtry planned the ceremony. They met with Eric Grubman ’84, who is Jewish, to make sure the service would be appropriate for both Rudman and Moscow, who are also Jewish.
As Viva Hardigg ’84 prepared her house on Reservoir Road for the event, Lisa Ragen Ide ’84 ran last-minute errands and found several people moved by the impromptu wedding plans. “An Umpleby’s baker came in early Saturday morning to bake an emergency wedding cake,” said Ide, “and a Co-op employee pulled a wine glass right off of their display and gave it to the bride and groom for the ceremony. It was lots of love for Mara and Jeff that made it all possible.”
Now married, and reflecting on the whirlwind weekend, Rudman says the event was meant to be. She says, “From the moment I landed at Dartmouth, I knew the people I was there with were going to be the ones who made a difference in my life. This is further affirmation of that.”
More about Rudman
Rudman served as a security and international development advisor to two presidential administrations, and she currently is principal of Quorum Strategies, an organization that helps clients navigate the intersections of government and business. At the invitation of Dean of the Faculty Michael Mastanduno, Rudman served for ten years on the Board of Visitors of the Dartmouth’s Dickey Center for International Understanding. In the fall of 2013, she taught a national security seminar at Dartmouth.