Back before she was a take-no-prisoners litigator and sexy new star of The Real housewives of Atlanta, Phaedra Parks was a young, attractive and highly intelligent undergraduate student at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. I managed to track down the 1990-1993 Wesleyan yearbooks and am happy to share Phaedra’s freshman, sophomore, junior and senior pictures! (Above is Phaedra’s senior portrait from 1993)
Phaedra was a communications major at the small, all-women’s college and her former professor Cindy Buell remembers her as “extremely bright, motivated and charming.” (Not much has changed in those departments!) She still checks in every couple years,” says Buell, who plans to retire this December.
Phaedra Parks had “The Poof” long before Snooki and Jersey Shore! (1992)
As part of her communications degree Phaedra took public speaking and interpersonal communication classes from Buell, which must have served her well in the courtroom and even better as the newest member of the ATL housewives!
Also helping out her promising career as a reality superstar is her self-proclaimed Southern Lady class, a characteristic most assuredly cultivated at the historic Southern college most famous for for being the first college in the world to grant degrees to women. It would be hard for anyone to take a brief walk around the historic campus without a little bit of Southern charm rubbing off! (Perhaps NeNe should consider road tripping down to Macon! That’s something I’m sure Phaedra would agree with.)
Phaedra Parks from her sophomore year in college in 1992.
In addition to impressing faculty members with her intelligence and drive, Phaedra Parks was also active on the Wesleyan campus participating in a number of organizations including the Council on Social Activities, Mortar Board, Wesleyan Ambassadors, student hostess, Alpha Kappa Psi, and the Black Student Association. (UPDATE: I didn’t see any reference to Phaedra being involved with equestrian as she mentioned recently on the show, but Wesleyan College does have equestrian facilities, and given that I didn’t know to look for it at the time, it’s very possible Phaedra was indeed riding horses while in college!)
Foreshadowing her future in the spotlight as star of one of reality televisions most popular shows Phaedra was a participant in Stunt, an annual event at Wesleyan in which each of the classes put together a humorous stage production with a theme. Phaedra was a member of The Corps during the 1990 production “Hello Life (Welcome to the Real World Baby!)” Perhaps that title should be updated for 2010 to “Hello Phaedra (Welcome to the Reality World, Baby!)
Phaedra Parks from her freshman year (1990) at Wesleyan College
Be sure to tune in to Bravo Monday nights at 10pm to see Phaedra and the rest of the Georgia peaches whip up a heaping batch of drama cobbler! It should be fun watching the continued injection of women with successful careers outside of reality television (Kandi Burruss last year and Phaedra and former supermodel Cynthia Bailey this year) clash with the RHOA old schoolers Kim Zolciak, NeNe Leakes and Sheree Whitfield, who will undoubtedly be a bit defensive and dare I say, jealous! MEOWWWRR!
To find out more about Phaedra’s VERY successful career as a powerful entertainment lawyer in Atlanta be sure to read our our PROFILE including photos, videos and a brief bio of Phaedra. You can also find out all about supermodel Cynthia Bailey and be completely caught up on the ATL new additions!
Photos: Wesleyan College Archives