Left to right: Taylor Swift Society members Julia Bennet ’24, Clare Hart ’23 and Kathryn Brown ’25
While cookies baked in the oven, filling Eckerd College’s Zeta lounge with the sweetened aroma of chai, Taylor Swift Society members sat together and chatted about their favorite memories from The Eras Tour.
Many of them had attended different shows, so they compared “surprise songs,” a part of The Eras Tour where Swift—who was recently named Time magazine’s Person of the Year—sings a different song from her discography on each night of her tour.
“We all had our own separate clips and experiences from [the tour.] For a lot of us, it was the best night of our lives … and we all got to gush about it together,” says Kathryn Brown, club co-president and junior ancient studies and psychology student from Bismarck, North Dakota.
Run by herself and fellow co-president Julia Bennet, the Taylor Swift Society hosts album-listening parties, baking nights, trivia evenings, and bracelet-making craft nights. Kathryn and Julia started the club to share their love for Swift and provide a safe, comfortable space for fans to make friends and lasting connections. At the club’s most recent event—a baking party—members baked Swift’s famous chai sugar cookie recipe that has gone viral on TikTok. The recipe involves adding chai spices and an eggnog glaze to chewy sugar cookies.
Julia, a senior human development student from Lakewood, Ohio, says she started the club to merge her passions. “I saw other schools that had Taylor Swift clubs, and I’m like, this is Eckerd and the slogan that they use all the time is ‘Keep Eckerd Weird,’” she recalls. “We should have a Taylor Swift club.” After Julia hatched the idea, all she needed were other officers and a faculty adviser. Currently, their adviser is Assistant Professor of Psychology Jessica Leffers, Ph.D., who began teaching at Eckerd in August 2021.
Kathryn says the club is important because of the space it provides to congregate with people of similar interests. “I just love connecting with people like that … I don’t need to tell you anything about myself, but I can immediately gush to you about this for hours.”
After Julia graduates in May, Kathryn will take over as the sole club leader and hopes to continue the spirit of friendship and community. “I think it’s a great way to start out here and kind of represent the weirdness or authenticness of Eckerd.”
The thing that Kathryn loves most about the club is that it gives them a safe place to “weird out” over Swift. “I think it was a perfect opportunity to bring crazy people together,” she says, “people who love decoding dumb little Easter eggs and having theory chats with each other and having a space where you could do that without judgment.”
The club has been very active this semester, holding several events and collaborating with other clubs. Recently, it held a 1989 (Taylor’s Version) album-listening party, where club members gathered to eat cupcakes and listen to Swift’s newest album re-recording.
Madeline Merrick ’26 gets ready to enjoy a Taylor Swift concert.
They also collaborated with several other clubs for the Tritons Together: Stride for Mental Health 5K on Oct. 21 to celebrate October Mental Health Awareness Month, making friendship bracelets and supporting those running.
Next semester, Kathryn wants to hold more events to bring all kinds of Swifties together, like Taylor Swift dance parties or an Eras Tour movie night.
To find out more about the Taylor Swift Society and receive updates on events, follow the club on Instagram @eckerd.luvs.tswift.