In the wake of yesterday’s royal engagement news, Meghan Markle’s college sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma, released a portrait of the young actress taken during her sophomore year at Northwestern.
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Markle was a typical college student during her time at the Illinois university. She was involved in Greek life and backpacked through Europe on her spring breaks, but Markle was also a “theater nerd,” double-majoring in theater and international relations.
“I knew I wanted to do acting, but I hated the idea of being this cliche—a girl from LA who decides to be an actress,” she told Marie Claire in 2013, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I wanted more than that, and I had always loved politics, so I ended up changing my major completely, and double-majoring in theater and international relations.”
One of her former teachers, Professor Harvey Young, recalls having the actress in one of his seminars. “I taught her in a small, advanced undergraduate seminar. There were only eight students in the class. We sat in a circle. It was on contemporary black theater,” Young told ABC of the future royal. “She was one of those people that I would highlight for students. I would say. ‘This is a possibility. This is a path you can pursue if you work hard.'”
In addition to her passion for theater, Markle’s interest in activism was also inspired by her time at Northwestern.
“In my memories of Meghan at Northwestern, she was very clear about the need to think about the experiences of people who are not only biracial but of people of color,” Young said. “She was mindful of the need for gender equality and the importance of championing for women’s rights.”
Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement on November 27. A royal wedding is planned for May of 2018 at Windsor Castle.