In the summer of 2014, the Holton-Arms School magazine Doorways published “The Sister Issue,” which celebrated the sisterhood many students said, the Head of School’s note read, value: “They feel completely comfortable with one another, confident that every class – mate would willingly offer a shoulder to cry on or join in a celebration.”
Inside the special issue was a multi-page spread called “Gatherings; Reunion brings together old friends and new ones.”
Among those old friends was the woman known in 1984 known as Christine Blasey. As a matter of fact, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford uses her maiden name as a professor and author.
Blasey had early 1980s hair, swept, layered, feathered; a little Farrrah and a little Princess Diana. She was family-oriented as can be seen by her yearbook dedication and she cheered her fellow classmates on the field and court.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a widely published author with an impressive academic and research career. A bit enigmatic, and maybe by design, but there’s little information available online about her life especially since her social media was shuttered. But a look at who she was in the 1980s sheds some light.
1. Her Yearbook Quotes Were Lyrics From Crosby, Stills & Nash Songs & Elton John’s ‘Your Song’ Was Dedicated to Her Parents & Brothers
Note: The Holton-Arms yearbook Scribe 1984 was online on the site ISSUU.com when this post was written beginning Monday late morning. All the images are screenshots. The yearbook has now been removed from the site so links no longer work.
Songs already 15 years old by then were no less powerful for the soon-to-be high school graduate that she included lyrics that had meaning to her as she prepared to leave Holton-Arms.
In her yearbook, Blasey wrote a letter to her family, lyrics from Elton John’s ‘Your Song.’
Dear Mom, Dad, Tom and Ralph,
“My gift is my song, and this one’s for you
And you can tell everybody this is your song
It may be quite simple, but now that it’s done
I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind that I put down in words
How wonderful life is while you’re in the world.”
Blasey also quoted at length lyrics from Stephen Stills’ “Suite Judy Blue Eyes” and other Crosby, Stills & Nash songs including “Helplessly Hoping.”
2. Blasey Was a Holton-Arms Cheerleader
Field hockey, lacrosse, softball, tennis and track and field have been sports played by girls at Holton-Arms. Blasey was a cheerleader, as described in the Scribe 1984 yearbook.
“Holton’s cheerleaders provide team support. Their enthusiasm radiate warmth and energy to both the team players and fans,” it was written about the Holton Arms cheerleaders. “When the cheerleaders got spirited enough to cheer Holton’s J.V. games, it certainly was party time!”
3. At the 2014 Reunion Weekend Gathering at Holton-Arms, Blasey ‘Inspired’ Students
In the summer ‘14 issue of the school magazine Doorways, student writers said that over the reunion weekend in April of that year, Blasey spoke with students during a presentation of what specifically is not clear and there’s no easily located description of her remarks, but the magazine did run a blurb and featured an image of her and her Class of 1984 compatriots.
Student magazine editors wrote that Blasey “…was able to inspire students at Holton-Arms when she presented at the Holton Upper School Alumnae Assembly in April over reunion weekend.”
And Doorways editors wrote, “She spends the majority of her work time teaching and mentoring students who are seeking to become either research or clinical psychologists.”
4. It’s ‘Not All Work’ for PhD & Ivy League Academic & Author, Doorways Wrote: Blasey is a Surfer. Or at Least She Was up Until 2014. She Does Love a Good ‘Science Party’
As was written by student editors, Blasey is a professor of psychology and statistics, is a professor at Palo Alto University, has been with Stanford University since 1988 where she taught bio-statistics, and conducted medical research both at Stanford and at private biotech companies in Silicon Valley.
“It’s not all about work though,” with Blasey Ford, student editors wrote. “While she has co-authored over 50 scientific publications, book chapters and books, she is an avid surfer, and she and her family spend a great deal of time surfing in the Santa Cruz and San Francisco areas,” she told Doorways in 2014.
During the San Francisco Bay Area March for Science in 2017, Blasey Ford, who was wearing a “elaborately knitted cap of the human brain — yarn turned into a supersized cerebral cortex,” she told The Mercury News, “It’s a science party!”
In a story about the press descending on her house in Palo Alto, a neighbor confirmed that Blasey Ford is a “big sports fan who regularly goes surfing in Santa Cruz.”
5. Holton-Arms Head of School Susanna A. Jones Praised Blasey Ford 'Using Her Voice’
It was reported that this is the statement of Holton-Arms Head of School Susanna A. Jones.
“In a recent article The Washington Post described an alleged assault of one of our alumnae by Supreme Court nominee Brent M Kavanagh that occurred in the early 1980s, while she was a student at Holton-Arms. In these cases, it is imperative that all voices are heard. As a school that empowers women to use their voices, we are proud of this alumna for using hers.”
Following the 2014 reunion weekend, Jones wrote about Blasey’s speech where she admitted her first two years of college, not unlike many others she said, were defined by indecision and lack of direction until in her junior year, she discovered psychology.
“Finally, during her junior year in college, a tough remonstrance from a friend brought her to her senses and she began to apply herself. She had a lot of slacking to make up for; psychology offered the easiest major to complete and graduate on time. Whatever the reason for her choice, it suited her, and she went on to earn a masters and a PhD. She has taught at Stanford since 1988 where she is now a full professor. More recently, she developed an interest in biostastics and earned a masters in that field in 2009. When she’s not teaching or doing research, she tests the safety and efficacy of drugs for FDA approval. Clearly someone who eventually found a way and made one, her greatest satisfaction comes from mentoring, helping others to find the right path.”