Category Archives: Alumni Interviews

  1. Conquering Countless Admirers, Having a Friend for 72 Years that You Never Met, Flying Solo to the USA at 86, and the Importance of Daily Routines: the Incredible Journey of 98-year-old Mara Bozhilova-Popova ’38

    February 1, 2017 by American College of Sofia

    …Why I wanted to get to Sofia so badly, I don’t recall anymore, but it wasn’t on one of the designated days when it was allowed, yet I was determined to go. At the College gate there was a guard in uniform, so I had to leave from somewhere else to avoid being caught; I had chosen the fence at the back. I had to do it outside lunch hours, too, so that most students would be in class. So I arranged with a friend of mine to skip foreign language class – she studied German and I French – and to meet at the chosen spot by the fence a little after 3 o’clock. How would I jump over the fence? She would help me up. I jumped over and picked up my bag.

  2. A Different Kind of Reunion

    September 20, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    After losing touch with each other during the war, best friends Hilda, Hristina, Veska and Ceca found one another again 50 years later, when Hilda’s blast-from-the-past phone call almost gave Hristina a heart attack. Those ladies have now known each other for nearly 70 years, and in Hilda and Hristina’s case – 76 years! It is kind of incredible that spending just a couple of years together, here at ACS, they managed to grow so fond of each other. Or as Hristina’s husband had jokingly put it: “This American College of yours! I really don’t understand how you can talk for more than 50 years about something that only lasted less than 5!”

  3. Sava Savchev ’44: My Children, Grandchildren, and Great Grandchildren Are My Fortune

    September 9, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    I recall how I once stood on Vasil Levski Blvd. chatting with my direct manager at the Labor-Union Council. A woman I was acquainted with passed by and the two of us greeted each other and exchanged a few sentences. When she went her way, my boss asked me: “How do you know her?” “From my days at the College,” I replied, and he exclaimed, “But why didn’t you mention the College in your application then?” “Well, I did write that I graduated from a Foreign Language High-School, which is what I did.” “How smart of you!” he said.

  4. Nikolay Georgiev ’44: The Humble Class President

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    August 30, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    There was a member of the Communist Party responsible for overseeing our neighborhood. His name was Mircho and he made sure I got expelled from the university in February 1949. Looking back, I see he was not all evil – for instance, he didn’t go all the way and kick us out of our home and city, which was our worst nightmare. It happened to relatives of ours.

    As an expelled student, I was not allowed to stay unemployed, so I got a job as a construction worker at the high voltage plant site near Iliyantsi. I used to take the tram to a point and then walk to the construction site. On my way, I used to recite aloud two soliloquies: from Hamlet “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I…,” learned in rhetorics class with Dr. Floyd Black as coach, and from Le Cid by Corneille “Percé jusques le fond du coeur d’une atteinte imprévue…,” learned in Mr. Berlan’s French class.

  5. Veronika Georgieva ’98: On Life in Japan

    August 1, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    The most beautiful places in Japan are the parks in March when the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Walking, surrounded by hundreds of white trees, watching the petals fall like snow and make a white carpet on the floor is the most beautiful scene I have seen here.

  6. Elena Stoycheva ’00: Your Granny Has Something To Tell You!

    July 5, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    My dream is that more people would start caring and sharing! Everybody needs to take responsibility, now that we know how human activities influence the environment. I think that we do not need to own so much; we can use things again and share, instead. We can invest more in experience and togetherness. We should be more sensitive toward the environment and each other, and we should care about beauty.

  7. Dobrin Georgiev ’43: The Children of the College

    July 5, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    I’m an invalid with these wounds of mine, the pleura – torn back there on the shoulder blade, and in spite of it all I’m in my ninety-second year. The College, the College – all of those sports, the work. We worked at the College, there were no slackers. We’d say, “Let’s make ourselves a pool,” and we all went to dig it, and then we swam and competed in it.

  8. Liliana Ikonopisova ’42, Together for Better, for Worse

    May 12, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    Rufi and I met on the first Mountain Day and have been together ever since. We went to (medical) university together, got married, and stayed by each other’s side until his passing. He was a gorgeous, tall, well-built poet, writer, and singer with a heavenly voice. He could imitate Sinatra so well that people were stunned when they heard him first.

  9. Tsvetana Beleva ’42: Laughter Is the Best Medicine

    April 12, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    The plot of the one-act play based on the song was the following: a soldier who has joined the army misses his beloved. They arrange for her to come out and meet him one evening. The ironing boards were turned into the barrack fence, each appointed student standing behind a board and holding it. One girl stood up on a chair, holding up a round platter – the moon. The couple stood conversing at the barrack gate. Suddenly, the general comes out. This was my part. I had put on the brown uniform of night guard, had tightened it with a belt to fit and headed towards the two lovebirds. To be more genuine, I was imitating Mr. Dyakov, the Dean of Boys’ School. Actually, everyone knew this, thanks to my successful mimicry. When we finished, thunderous applause burst out from teachers and students. We won first place that Stunt Night. On the next school day during the big break, I was summoned to Mr. Dyakov’s office. Stunned, I feared I would be punished. Instead, he welcomed me heartily, saying: ”Tsvetanke, you made me look so good! Thank you!“ I left relieved. What a lesson on how to take jokes at your expense, if you are intelligent!

  10. Kalina Manova ’98: The Wonders and Wanders of Life after ACS

    March 23, 2016 by American College of Sofia

    I believe that discovering one’s true passion is the first step to being happy – the second its pursuit. ACS gave me the opportunity to try on a different hat every day. I remember the long afternoons and occasional nights of editorial work on College Life, the endless folk-dance rehearsals, the impossibility of learning “The Jabberwocky” for Alice in Wonderland, the math competitions, and the volunteering in local schools. Sure, there were organizational flops, money hick-ups and make-up messes. But I remember only the fun and excitement (and proper dose of embarrassment!) of finally seeing the newspaper in print or performing on stage.