Posted: January 30, 2009
Kim Freedman was in a class of her own as an outside hitter for the Brown and White volleyball team from 1995-1999. With one Patriot League Championship during her career, which is also the last championship the program has won, Freedman set a number of Lehigh records that have yet to be broken. She remains the title holder for most total kills in a single season, most kills per game in a single season and most kills per game in a career. Freedman remains in a class of her own today, ten years later, as she is one of only 500 perfumers in the entire world.
Freedman’s career at Lehigh started because she wrote a letter to Coach Jack Casteel asking to walk on, and he accepted her request because he saw it as a “sign,” Freedman recalls. There were many signs along the way to Freedman’s success as both a volleyball player and a student. After graduating with a B.S. in Biology, Freedman began her masters in Chemistry as a Presidential Scholar so she could pursue her dream as a perfumer.
That dream required her to uproot her life and move to Geneva, Switzerland to begin a three year in-house training program with Firmenich. “I would have done anything. I was ready for it!” Freedman says.
In a country where she didn’t know anyone else, or the language for that matter, Freedman played for a Division II volleyball team, Geneve Elite. “I did it for one or two years and it helped me integrate into the culture and learn French. No one spoke English besides one other girl on the team.”
It was in Geneva that Freedman met her husband, Erich, who is originally from Canada. The two made the move from Geneva to London where they have been for the past five years. Freedman works as a perfumer there and is an expert on creating perfume compositions. Her skill is more of an art to her than just chemistry, she explains. Freedman is required to have a palette of thousands of smells and be able to create combinations that convey certain concepts and moods in a fragrance.
Although Freedman has surely created many great memories in London with her husband Erich, two-year old son Easton, and is awaiting the arrival of her baby girl, Freedman says one of her most memorable experiences was winning the 1997 Patriot League Volleyball Championship alongside her teammates. “The Championship will always stick out in my head. There was a lot of love on that team,” she says. “Even without the title I’ll never forget my junior year.”
Freedman attributes much of her success to being a member of the Lehigh Volleyball Team. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without volleyball.” Freedman says athletics gave her a support system, the good fortune of having friends around every day and a solid structure. Freedman, who was a two-time Patriot League Scholar Athlete of the Year, says her GPA wouldn’t have been what it was without volleyball.
Freedman’s experience with Lehigh Volleyball came with a number of team and individual successes. And the pursuit of her dream has led to other successes as well. She encourages others to never give up. “If you know what you want just go for it,” she says. “There were many times I thought about quitting and even came close, but I can’t imagine where I would be. Everything would be different.”
Story written by Maxie McCoy ‘10