Ellie Hylton

Ellie Hylton, Harvard Summa Cum Laude

For Harriet interviews the sociology major who recently graduated from Harvard with the highest GPA in her class

by Team Ebony, June 10, 2013

Ellie Hylton

Ellie Hylton

I dreamed of attending Harvard since I was 12 years-old. Back then I knew fairly little about the university beyond its most discussed attributes: old, storied, and prestigious. That was enough for me. In middle school, I devised a plan to get there by any means necessary. It wasn't until I arrived on campus, that I realized what a true privilege it is to spend each day sitting beside and learning from some of the most brilliant minds in the world.

Ask a Harvard grad, and they'll likely tell you the best part about Harvard is the people. They'll amaze and inspire you everyday. Ellie Hylton is one of those phenomenal people. A member of the Harvard College Class of 2013. She was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society in the fall, and she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in sociology and the highest GPA in her class. For that distinction, Harvard awarded her the Sophia Freund Prize.

On a personal note, Ellie possesses a kind, humble spirit that makes her joy to engage with her. She'd never mention it, but she comes from a family full of Harvard alums including her aunt Soledad O'Brien. 

I asked Ellie a few questions about her time at Harvard.

Kimberly Foster: Both of your parents are Harvard College alums. When did you decide you wanted to attend? 

Ellie Hyton: My parents never pushed Harvard. I did visits at several schools during my senior year of high school, and I eventually did an overnight visit with the track team at Harvard. I really liked the people that I met during that overnight trip (I met one of my current best friends on that trip!). Overall, I felt that the campus was alive with friendly and interesting people, so I went with my gut and chose Harvard

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