Charlotte Cathey '12
Greet Randolph-Macon College student Charlotte Cathey ’12 with
“Bon jour” or “Break a leg” and her face lights up. She is passionate about her
majors, French and
“As an underclassman, I knew I wanted to major in drama. I’ve always loved the theatre,”
she says. “I was going to minor in French, but it quickly developed into a second
major.” Cathey says her study-abroad
experience in 2010 solidified her love of all things French.
“I studied in Poitiers, France, and it was the most challenging and rewarding thing
I have ever done,” she says. “I loved being immersed in the French way of life—the
language, the culture, the people. I took classes in theatre, literature and translation
and had to stay on my toes—it was very exciting.”
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The Chesapeake, Virginia native remembers falling in love with R-MC during a
“It reminded me of a smaller version of Williamsburg,” says Cathey. “I was immediately
impressed by the openness of the campus, and the people I met were so friendly.
One guy even popped out of his window and said ‘hello’ to our tour group as we passed
Cathey says R-MC professors have helped make her college career a success.
“Professor Amy deGraff convinced me to pursue French and Professor Aouicha Hilliard
looked over my study-abroad application,” says Cathey. “She trusted me even when
it seemed I had no idea what I was doing. Professor Joe Mattys (drama) tried to
talk me out of my drama major—and he was delighted when I refused.”
Cathey, who has long been intrigued by Buddhism, says a
January Term class, Zen and the Art of Creativity, with Professor Ray Berry
(fine arts) was an eye-opening experience. The class is one of many
Honors courses that R-MC offers. January term gives students a month-long
opportunity to immerse themselves in other cultures,
internships or on-campus courses.
“Professor Berry taught me more about real life than I could imagine,” she says.
“I identify strongly with the down-to-earth principles of the religion. He taught
me the importance of living in the moment and not being afraid to fail.”
Cathey, who takes every opportunity to audition for plays, is excited about J-term
2012, when she’ll trade her French beret for a director’s hat.
“I’ll be directing ‘M. Butterfly’ as my senior project,” she explains. “Even though
my work will be graded, I’ll be doing it for the love of it.” Cathey says she chose
the play, which premieres on February 15, 2012, for its deep theatrical qualities:
“It's not a fluffy or particularly happy show, but it has hilarious elements throughout
and will make the audience think.”
The theatre connoisseur says she hopes to return to France to teach
English after she graduates from Randolph-Macon.
“It would be très magnifique to be able to teach a subject that is so dear
to me,” she says.