The week of February 11th was a busy one on The Hill—and especially busy in the Registrar’s Office as it was sophomore concentration declaration week. All 537 members of the Class of 2021 chose their major and made it official. Here is the story of one.

It’s a research-based love match, and Kathryn Kearney ’21 just made it official with the College Registrar. After much deliberation, she declared American studies as her major. She loves literature, history, music, art and art history, and American studies lets her pursue all of those.  Nailing down a major felt great, Kearney says.

She had been leaning toward an interdisciplinary major of her own design that would have been called “Art and Literature for Social Change,” but she decided that it wouldn’t have left her the space she wanted to study history or music. “So then I was researching all the majors that we have at the College, and there was the American studies major, and I read about it, and it was perfect,” Kearney says. She could roll everything she wanted to learn about into a single concentration. She plans to minor in theatre.

But before signing off on the paperwork, Kearney sought advice from an old friend and recent Hamilton alum, Anna O’Keefe ’18, an American studies major that Kearney has known since high school. O’Keefe’s perspective sealed her choice.

Kearney is taking her first American studies course and finding it filled with relevant discussion about U.S. culture. “We’re a country of opportunities and diversities,” Kearney says, “and understanding it is critically important.”

Beyond her new major, Kearney sings in the Jazz Ensemble, takes part in the Levitt Leadership Institute, founded and serves as the editor-in-chief of a new digital and print, art and culture publication at Hamilton called Circle Magazine.

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