Despite Brett Kavanaugh’s insistence that his high school experience at Georgetown Prep primarily consisted of sports, church, and “being a good friend,” there’s some potentially revealing shit in his high school yearbook. Like, that he was the “Keg City Club” treasurer, whatever that means, and that he “survived the FFFFFFFourth of July,” also cryptic. And this: “Renate Alumnus,” which is reportedly a not-so-nice reference to a then-student at an all-girls Catholic school with whom Kavanaugh and his gang reportedly socialized.
Indeed, according to the New York Times, “Renate” refers to one Renate Schroeder, now Renate Dolphin, who attended school around the same time Kavanaugh matriculated through Georgetown Prep. Dolphin was one of 65 women who signed a letter supporting Kavanaugh after Christine Blasey Ford came forward to accuse the Supreme Court nominee of assaulting her at a party in 1982. But it appears Dolphin didn’t know about “Renate Alumnus,” or that nine men on the Georgetown Prep football team, including Kavanaugh, posed in a yearbook photo captioned “Renate Alumni,” which certainly looks like the kind of thing a bunch of shitty high school boys would do if they were all bragging about sleeping with someone.
“They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” Sean Hagan, one of Kavanaugh’s former classmates, told the New York Times. He said the group used to brag that Dolphin was one of their “conquests,” adding, “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”
Kavanaugh’s attorney, Alexandra Walsh, said in a statement that Kavanaugh was friends with Dolphin in high school and “admired her very much then, and he admires her to this day.” Per her statement:
Judge Kavanaugh and Ms. Dolphin attended one high school event together and shared a brief kiss good night following that event. They had no other such encounter. The language from Judge Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook refers to the fact that he and Ms. Dolphin attended that one high school event together and nothing else.
Dolphin, meanwhile, seemed less than thrilled to discover she’d been the subject of a yearbook club of sorts, despite her earlier support of Kavanaugh. Per the New York Times:
This month, Renate Schroeder Dolphin joined 64 other women who, saying they knew Judge Kavanaugh during their high school years, signed a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is weighing Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. The letter stated that “he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect.”
When Ms. Dolphin signed the Sept. 14 letter, she wasn’t aware of the “Renate” yearbook references on the pages of Judge Kavanaugh and his football teammates.
“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.”
The aforementioned Hagan said he was “completely astounded” when he saw Dolphin signed the letter in support of Kavanaugh.
And there’s more:
Michael Walsh, another Georgetown Prep alumnus, also listed himself on his personal yearbook page as a “Renate Alumnus.” Alongside some song lyrics, he included a short poem: “You need a date / and it’s getting late / so don’t hesitate / to call Renate.”
Mr. Walsh, a bank executive in Virginia, was one of scores of Georgetown Prep alumni who signed a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee leaders vouching for Judge Kavanaugh’s “sharp intellectual ability, affable nature, and a practical and fair approach devoid of partisan purpose.” He did not respond to requests for comment.
Ms. Dolphin was aware that members of Judge Kavanaugh’s clique were reciting that poem, according to a person familiar with her thinking. She told the football players that she found it offensive, believing it made her seem like a cheap date, and she asked them to stop.
A PR representative for four of the men pictured in the “Renate Alumni” photo said in a statement that references to Dolphin were not meant to suggest they had sex with her, but “were intended to allude to innocent dates or dance partners and were generally known within the community of people involved for over 35 years.” Meanwhile, William Fishburne, another one of Kavanaugh’s classmates, told the paper a large number of men in his class, including Kavanaugh and his friends, often bragged about sexual conquests, even if they never really happened.
How important is Kavanaugh’s yearbook page? As a standalone item, probably not very. High school boys drink and do stupid things and are generally misogynistic jerks, to my recollection. Sometimes they grow out of it. But in light of the growing number of accusations against Kavanaugh, it helps paint a picture of a very different person than Kavanaugh claims he was in school, and that’s enough to make him a more than-unreliable narrator—not that he hasn’t proven that already.