From the Anonymity of Academia to the Center of a Supreme Court Confirmation

Judge Kavanaugh, a Republican, is a staunch Catholic conservative who lives in the nation’s capital. Dr. Blasey, colleagues say, is a Democrat from California who wore a pink “brain hat” when she joined fellow academics in protesting the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to scientific research funding. Their histories coalesced, in Dr. Blasey’s telling, in the early 1980s, in the insular, moneyed world of Washington private college preparatory schools.

She began attending Holton-Arms School, a private girls’ prep school in Bethesda, Md., in seventh grade, joining a tight-knit group of about 65 girls. High school friends and classmates described “Chrissy,” as Dr. Blasey was known then, as a popular girl equally comfortable in math class and at social gatherings.

Samantha Semerad Guerry said Dr. Blasey fit right in. Athletic and outdoorsy, she joined the soccer, softball and cheerleading teams. “She was universally well-liked — always cheerful, affable, funny, and super smart,” Ms. Guerry said.

“She was self-possessed,” recalls Cheryl Aviva Amitay, who graduated in 1985, the year after Dr. Blasey.

As a student at Holton-Arms, Dr. Blasey was part of an elite, suburban Washington community, where the families of members of Congress, white-shoe lawyers and lobbyists golfed, played tennis and swam together at a hierarchy of country clubs; Dr. Blasey’s father, a business executive, formerly served as president of the Burning Tree Country Club. Students at private schools socialized with one another and participated in cross-school events.

Children from Catholic schools, like Georgetown Preparatory School, which Mr. Kavanaugh and Justice Neil Gorsuch attended, and Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, a girls’ school nearby, tended to hang around together, having often come from the same parishes and grade schools, though not exclusively. Ms. Guerry said that she knew Georgetown Prep boys through participating in school performances, and that Brett Kavanaugh was an acquaintance.

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