Passion for Shakespeare Continues after Tulane

Winnie Harrington Robinson (NC, '02)

There is no doubt that my Tulane degree and my four years in New Orleans shaped not only my career, but who I am today. I met my husband in New Orleans (he is a Tulane Law graduate), and we visit often, now with the added joy of sharing our favorite city with our daughter. And on our visits, I always find myself drawn back to Tulane, returning to check in on the school that gave me so much.

As an English major, I studied many genres of American and British literature and especially Shakespeare, a passion of mine. My senior year I wrote an honors thesis titled, “The Dramatization of Women in Shakespeare’s Comedies.” The experience of researching, writing, and defending a thesis as an undergraduate was formative for me, and I’m delighted that Tulane gave me the opportunity.

While double majoring in English and Psychology, I was also very active in the Department of Theatre and Dance. As a member of the Newcomb Dance Company for all four years, I enjoyed performing often and working with talented choreographers. Only a liberal arts education would allow me to simultaneously pursue such rigorous academic study and the performing arts.

I now work in fundraising for the arts and humanities, currently as the Senior Development Officer for Major Gifts at the Folger Shakespeare Library, which is both a renowned research library and arts and culture center in Washington, DC. So I was incredibly proud when Tulane was chosen as the Louisiana destination for the Folger’s traveling exhibition of Shakespeare’s 1623 First Folio (the first printed collection of his plays) to all 50 states in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016.

In May I had the honor of representing the Folger at the opening celebration of the exhibition at the Newcomb Art Museum, which featured a jazz funeral for William Shakespeare led by Dr. Michael White. Indeed, that evening summed up Tulane—a revered academic institution, chosen to host a landmark exhibition of one of the world’s most valuable books, in the magnificently unique backdrop of New Orleans, with the beloved culture permeating every moment.

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