Harvard students watching “Dawson’s Creek” last Wednesday got quite a treat when Joey, played by Katie Holmes, jogged on a bridge in Boston over the Charles and down Mass Ave., past Lamont and the Hong Kong. Although her school, Worthington, is an Ivy League university in Boston, it is not supposed to be fair Harvard. Our college has been mentioned explicitly on the show, notably when Joey, Dawson and the gang visited it two seasons ago, and again last season when Andie was admitted there early decision.
While Worthington may be fictional, the people at Dawson’s Creek have created a web site to establish a sense of authenticity. According to the “official” Worthington web site, Worthington College was founded in 1787, and has an undergraduate population of 2700 students. The acceptance rate for the class of 2005 was 19 percent, and its tuition—of which Joey’s is paid for with the inheritance money Dawson received when Mr. Brooks, the filmmaker/neighbor who dated Jen’s grandmother, died last season—is $32,810. Portrayed by Duke University in Durham, NC, Worthington has a beautiful gothic campus with large grassy quads, tall stone bell towers and stained glass windows.
And indeed, Worthington is not the only fictional Boston school on Dawson’s. Since most of the characters must stay in the same city for college to keep the show running, Jack and Jen conveniently attend Boston Bay College, which, like Worthington, has its own “official” web site. Boston Bay College, it claims, is located in a “residential area three miles from the city center.” Founded in 1836, its undergraduate population is 2,350 students, and it even has a motto: “aut viam inveniam”—either I will find a way or I will make one. The college boasts a wide range of interdisciplinary majors, and a marginally cheaper tuition than Worthington at a mere $31,880.
Thus, for those students hoping to run into Joey, Jen or Jack at Avalon one random weekend, don’t get your hopes up. Instead, try summer school at Duke, and maybe then you’ll have more luck.