September 21, 2017

Hackettstown, N.J, September 21, 2017 – Members of the community are invited to attend a free presentation about author, Katharine Brush, a 1917 graduate, during the 15 anniversary celebration of Alumni & Family Weekend. This discussion will be conducted by blogger, Jonathan Matthews, at 1 p.m. on October 7, 2017 in the George H. Whitney Chapel. There will be a reception following the event in the Front Parlours of the Edward W. Seay Administration Building at 2 p.m. This event was made possible by the staff of the Taylor Memorial Library.

Jonathan Matthews

Photo credit: Julie McGuire Photography

Katharine Brush ’17 graduated 100 years ago from Centenary Collegiate Institute as Katharine “Casey” Ingham. She later became Katharine Brush and embarked on a writing career which included articles for women’s magazines, short stories and books that were later made into successful movies! Brush covered many types of events that ranged from boxing matches (Dempsey/Tunney, 1926, Philadelphia) to beauty pageants (Miss America, 1925, Atlantic City) early in her career. Her short fiction was published in the leading literary magazines of the day, including The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan, Collier’s and The New Yorker. Her short story, Night Club, caused a literary sensation when it appeared in Harper’s Magazine 90 years ago, in September, 1927. She was nominated several times for the O. Henry Award, and won “best short short” in 1929 for Him and Her. She wrote seven novels and was at work on an eighth book when she died. Her novel, Young Man of Manhattan, was named the 9th best-selling novel of 1930 by Publishers Weekly and later that year was made into a film starring Claudette Colbert, Norman Foster, and Ginger Rogers. Red-Headed Woman was made into a film in 1932 starring Jean Harlow.

Matthews’ talk, “Kay and Me,” shares his personal story of the re-discovery of a long-forgotten Jazz Age novelist. He discusses how the wise-cracking daughter of a prim New England headmaster became a leading luminary in the literary and motion picture worlds, one whose dazzling light burned alongside of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jean Harlow; and, like theirs, was extinguished tragically way too soon.

Matthews is a compulsive fact-checker and is blessed with an incredibly retentive memory, a large portion of which he chooses to devote to the Silver Screen and Hollywood’s Golden Age. His other areas of interest include the 1939 New York World’s Fair and Depression-era entertaining and “cuisine” with an emphasis on Jell-O recipes. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the State University of New York, Stony Brook. His blog can be found at

“I am so pleased to speak at Centenary University about one of my favorite authors,” says Matthews. “The timing of this opportunity is quite significant as it is during a milestone for Katharine, as well as the institution.”

For more information, please call (908) 852-1400, ext. 2244.

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world.

Centenary University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township (Morris County).  The Centenary School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.


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