Renate Schroeder Dolphin was one of the 65 women who signed a letter in defense of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh earlier this month. They were his high school classmates and had nothing but praise for Kavanaugh's integrity. In the letter, Dolphin and her fellow classmates wrote that Kavanaugh, for as long as they've known him, "has behaved honorably and treated women with respect."
But, Dolphin learned something this week that makes her regretful she put her name on that letter. In Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, Kavanaugh was one of several male students who was connected with the phrase, “Renate Alumnius.” Rumor has it that it was a phrase meaning the students were boasting about having relations with Schroeder. She is now "hurt" by the discovery.
“I learned about these yearbook pages only a few days ago,” Ms. Dolphin said in a statement to The New York Times. “I don’t know what ‘Renate Alumnus’ actually means. I can’t begin to comprehend what goes through the minds of 17-year-old boys who write such things, but the insinuation is horrible, hurtful and simply untrue. I pray their daughters are never treated this way. I will have no further comment.” (New York Times)
Some of Kavanaugh's other former peers say it's not surprising because he was part of the frat boy culture at the school who were obsessed with bragging about their sexual experiences.
"There was a lot of talk and presumably a lot of action about sexual conquest with girls,” according to Bill Barbot, Kavanaugh's former classmate.
A few of the graduates featured in the photo with the words "Renate Alumni," however, explain that it was more innocent than it seems.
Four of the players in the “Renate Alumni” photo — Mr. Davis, Mr. Kane, Tim Gaudette and Don Urgo Jr. — said in a statement that they had “never bragged about” sexual contact or anything like that with Ms. Dolphin. The statement, issued by Jim McCarthy, a public-relations representative, said the yearbook’s “Renate” references “were intended to allude to innocent dates or dance partners and were generally known within the community of people involved for over 35 years.”
“These comments,” the statement continued, “were never controversial and did not impact ongoing relationships until The Times twisted and forced an untrue narrative. This shabby journalism is causing egregious harm to all involved, particularly our friend, and is simply beneath contempt.”
Kavanaugh's first accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, will be testifying Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She has alleged that Kavanaugh forced himself on her 36 years ago when they were both in high school. The nominee took the rare step of defending himself on television Monday night on Fox News. During the joint interview with his wife, Kavanaugh emphatically denied Ford's allegations.
Some Democratic senators, like Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Chris Coons, are under the impression Kavanaugh is guilty until he proves his innocence.