The Goddess That Is Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn is one of Bryn Mawr’s most beloved alumnae. She started our tradition of skinny-dipping in the Cloisters. We watch The Philadelphia Story every May Day. I’d make a nod to the title of my post and nickname her Athena, but I think that borders just a bit too close to sacrilege.

Katharine Hepburn was glorious. She completely did her own thing. She wore pants. She won four Oscars for Best Actress and had eight other nominations. Her characters had attitude and a regal dignity, spirit and uncommon directness. I adore her.

She majored in philosophy (well, and history — but as I’m also a BMC philosophy major, I’m totally claiming her as one of us). And, as someone who loves my alma mater deeply, I can’t help but love Katharine Hepburn all the more for how much it meant to her as well. The following is a quote from her that is well-known in the Bryn Mawr community:

Bryn Mawr isn’t plastic, it isn’t nylon, it’s pure gold. . . . I came here by the skin of my teeth; I got in and by the skin of my teeth I stayed. It was the best thing I ever did. . . . I feel that I was enormously lucky to come here. I am very proud when I see the name, very proud. 

Katharine Hepburn in "The Woman in the Moone" at Grand May Day in 1928.

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