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The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


The Student News Site of Bridgewater College


Student Athlete Focus: Kennedy Fauntleroy

Author of “Hidden Figures” Talks at Bridgewater College

Melia Ross
Margot Lee Shetterly, author of “Hidden Figures” appears as a guest at the Endowed Lecture Series on Jan. 17. Shetterly discussed her influence from the real characters in her story and how the story came about.

Bridgewater, Va.- On Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, Margot Lee Shetterly came to talk at Bridgewater College for the celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

Shetterly grew up in Hampton, Virginia, where her father worked at the Langley Research Center as a scientist and her mother was an English professor at Hampton University. Being from Hampton, and her father working at the NASA center, Shetterly grew up around a lot of influential people.

Shetterly graduated from the University of Virginia and moved to New York to work her first job out of college on Wall Street in investment banking. When asked about her first job Shetterly said, “It was my dream job. I told my parents when I was like nine or something that I wanted to work in investment banking.” 

Shetterly later moved to Mexico with her husband, Aran Shetterly, to open a magazine brand, which later shut down, but during this time away from the United States, Shetterly tells that her husband encouraged her to write the book “Hidden Figures.”  Shetterly talked about how living in Mexico helped her disconnect from the country to write her book and how grateful she is for that time in her life. 

In more recent years, Shetterly has become the author of the best selling book “Hidden Figures.” This book is based on the true story of four Black females named Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden who worked for NASA as mathematicians during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. This was a time in American history when Jim Crow Laws were in effect and where it was unheard of for a woman, much less a Black woman, to work for NASA. In Shetterly’s book, she tells the astonishing story of these four women and their work. 

While speaking at Bridgewater College, Shetterly talked about how her book came to be. Shetterly’s father worked at NASA with Vaughan, Jackson, Johnson and Darden and said that “[she] knew a lot of these women growing up,” but when talking with people about this story, people would say to Shetterly, “Why haven’t I heard this story before?” and this sparked the idea for her to write her book. Shetterly told the audience that this story is near to her heart. She says that the story is a love story to her hometown and the people who live there and people deserve to know this story. 

Since her book, Shetterly has become fascinated with shedding light on forgotten people and history in the 20th century. Shetterly concluded her speech by mentioning that she is currently working on her second book on a story that is similar to her first book.

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About the Contributors
Kinley Woodard
Kinley Woodard, Staff Writer
Major Communication Technology and Culture Minor Religion and Philosophy  Junior, Class 2025 I’m hoping to get news writing experience by joining BC Voice.
Melia Ross
Melia Ross, Staff Writer
Majors- Communications and Digital Media Arts Junior, Class of 2025 My goal in BC Voice is to gain more experience in news writing and photo stories.