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from the editor

Asked by the Bi-Co News, “what are you wearing?” at the gala for the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center, Blythe Danner said she had tried to prepare for the evening as she would for a dramatic role, and that her black gown by California designer Hanna Hartnell was what she imagined “somebody at Bryn Mawr would wear in my era.”

Lauren Bacall, in a black pantsuit and pearls, said, “I think that fashion is over…I think we have to move on, to more important things—until we get Bush out of office.”

Katharine Hepburn ’28 might have made either statement, and the weekend celebration of the Center’s launch was a time for both glamour and gravity.

The KHHC planning committee spent more than a year organizing the two panel discussions, which tackled difficult and controversial women’s health issues.

There were also lengthy and varied discussions about what to wear to the black tie gala. We could devote a feature story to Mawrters’ gowns, but will simply write instead that all dazzled.

Laura Sockol ’07, one of six seniors who spoke at the gala ceremony, recalled a line spoken by Hepburn’s character in Suddenly Last Summer: “The dinosaurs were all vegetarians. That’s why they’re extinct.”

Sokol continued, “This isn’t really meant as a judgment of the value of eating literal meat. It is about the need to get at the meat of life—to be passionate about something, and to be so invested in a cause or an idea that the pursuit of it sustains you. The Hepburn women embodied this principle in their own lives. This is what Bryn Mawr is helping its students to do.”

The Center’s launch and its activities will increase public awareness of the College, its values, people and the education it offers. The inauguration weekend and awarding of the Hepburn Medals to Danner and Bacall made news around the world in major newspapers, and on television, radio and the internet.

Also in September, The Washington Monthly ranked Bryn Mawr as the top
liberal arts college
in fostering research, an ethic of national service and social mobility.

Students lift their cellphones at the conclusion of the Dar Williams concert
held during the Hepburn launch. Photo by Jim Roese


Return to November 2006 Highlights





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