Her Path Was Revealed — and She Excelled KATHY MCGEE BURNS ’86
BY BRENDA LANGE
ith focused commitment, Kathy McGee Burns ’86 earned a bachelor’s degree in history when she was 50-years-old and had nine children at home.
“I had no idea what I was going to do with my degree, I just put one foot in front of the other and kept going,” she remembers. “I excelled because of the attitude and encouragement of everyone at Chestnut Hill, and I took advantage of everything that was offered to me.” Burns completed her required core courses during eight years at Montgomery County Community College and focused on history during the additional three years it took her to finish up at CHC taking classes part time. On her first day of class, the Mount Saint Joseph Academy graduate was surprised to find herself sitting in the same classroom in which she had taken her last class at the Academy. And she was pleased to find herself facing some of the same Sisters of Saint Joseph who had taught her there. Her lifelong dream of being a lawyer was reinvigorated by four women in her graduating class who were going on to law school (and by the popularity of the TV show, LA Law). So she attended Temple Law for two years. “When it wasn’t what I thought it would be, I left and decided to become a realtor, and I’ve been doing it ever since,” she says, adding that she has worked with Berkshire Hathaway in Blue Bell for almost 30 years.
DISCOVERING HER ROOTS While a student, Burns learned about the Irish hunger strikers and was particularly moved when hearing news reports of a young Irish man starving himself around the same time one of her sons was embarking on his college career.
Photo credit: Tom Keenan
The self-described joiner was involved with various committees while at CHC, and is quick to talk about her love for the College. “It shaped the latter part of my life and gave me something I hadn’t been ready for before,” she says. As a new bride right after high school graduation and a mother the following year, she believed that college simply wasn’t for her. “And then, all of a sudden, there was Chestnut Hill waiting for me,” she says.
Kathy McGee Burns ’86 was the Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
22 CHESTNUT HILL
Published on Oct 13, 2015