May 13, 2013 by Elizabeth Miller
To the newest William & Mary alumni:
Close your eyes and picture this campus. The William & Mary you see is the one you’ve built over the last however many years it has taken you to get to this point. You’ve certainly had help along the way. This place is filled with people who worked to make your life better from day one: family, faculty, staff, classmates, the Griffin. You’ve had help along the way, but it’s been your W&M you’ve built. All the people and experiences you’ve discovered here have made this place what it is for you. And that is the William & Mary you get to keep with you, even as life changes, as your geography, social circles, job, hairstyle changes. The W&M you’ve built abides. Even as one of the things that changes is this campus.
As a young alumna who never really left this place, I’ve seen it happen and been a part of it happening. This campus remains alive. New buildings, new people, new thoughts, ideas, failures and successes. This place changes because of you. Because each of the incoming students has a W&M to build as well. And that’s one of the incredible parts of being an alum. You now have ownership over two William & Marys. The magical place you’ve experienced from freshman memories, GER struggles, final papers, people you’ve loved and people you’re ready to take some space from. That W&M is carried by you. And you also have this place that has been around a long time, that you can always return to. You now get to be that alum who jumps on a campus tour to say, “When I was a student here…” But you also get to be a part of honoring the change this campus undergoes, supporting the William & Mary new students are trying to build.
The W&M you carry with you from this day forward and this one right here that you can return to, they are not the same. Your relationship to this college is different now. Life is different now. Thankfully, W&M has prepared you for that change. Maybe some of you feel less prepared than others. Perhaps there is stress and intimidation about leaving these brick pathways. I can’t offer you a certainty of what comes next, but you can carry with you the certainty of these brick pathways. And of the helpers. There are so many alumni excited to support you in this part of the journey. And you’re a helper now too, someone current students will reach out to with their own uncertainties.
This place will be here and this place will always change. I encourage you to honor that because the same is true for you. The things you built into who you are while you were here – the friendships, the knowledge, the values – you get to carry that with you, and you get to change. You get to experience the shifts that happen with time passing. That can be hard and that can be incredible. Just as this place remains, who you were here is captured within you and within the friends, faculty, and staff you knew here as well. As an alumna, though, I welcome you to change because those changes will be part of your W&M alumni story. I am so grateful that I can welcome you to this branch of the family, and I want to congratulate you on your time at W&M. I know you’ve done incredible things here because this campus remains incredible and vibrant. This college is the powerful, beautiful, life changing, sometimes overwhelmingly daunting, but also loving place that it is because all of us, including alumni, join in making it.
So congratulations on being part of creating the W&M of today. Congrats on coming into the great unknown. And congratulations on now joining a new phase of building the W&M of years to come. Through all that comes next, this place is always your home. You’ve earned that above all else. (Although the diploma’s nice too.)
April 11, 2013 by Bailey Thomson
Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa, where fall has officially begun! While the College is getting warmer and the Sunken Garden is filling up with sun-soaked students, I am turning on my space heater and bundling up in my cottage. I often wish I could just move from place to place following summer on its annual journey across the globe.
Since I last posted, we opened a school! On January 14, Spark Ferndale Primary School opened its doors, and three months later, we are going strong! The school serves 161 students and their families and employs 9 incredible educators. Our students hail from across Johannesburg; they are eager to learn, absolutely hilarious, and so kind. Our teachers are hard working, mission driven, do-what-it-takes educators committed to their students. I continue to be grateful to serve on the eAdvance team, a visionary crew with a no-excuses attitude. The second school term (of four) began this week, and we are in the midst of celebrating our students’ academic and personal progress from last term. That’s a very short way of saying much has happened since I posted in October, and I have much to be proud of and thankful for.
During school term holidays, I had the opportunity to return to the United States for about ten days. I spent half the time in California, where I visited friends in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Oakland, and San Jose. I also got to see and teach my former students at Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School during two afternoons. Then, I flew to Richmond, Virginia for the last half of the trip. There, in addition to spending time with family, I had the privilege of speaking at TedxCollegeofWilliamandMary, an independently organized TED event at the College.
Let me give you a peak inside my brain for a moment: I got to return to the place I love the most (the College) to speak at a conference licensed by my favorite “ideas organization” (TED) about the cause I am most passionate about (education reform) alongside the people I most respect (William & Mary students, alumni and professors). I was absolutely thrilled—and also seriously nervous.
What I should have anticipated was that my talk was not even close to the highlight of my Tedx experience. My talk was the last in a 4 hours series of thought-provoking talks on innovation in storytelling, data-driven international aid, myth in religion, community engagement, gender equity and more. By the time my talk about education reform and habits of innovation came around, I felt like much of what I had to say had been expressed over the course of the afternoon by the other speakers. It’s a beautiful thing to feel like the essence of your ideas is also encompassed in the ideas of others. This community conscience – one that simultaneously values tradition and newness, and in all things, seeks to serve others – may be the William & Mary-est thing about William & Mary.
March 19, 2013 by Ashleigh Brock
Hey, class of 2013! This week’s post is for you. At the start of the semester, I posed a few questions to the College of William & Mary Alumni Network on LinkedIn: Do you love your job? How did you get it? How did you decide it was right for you? We got a number of responses, but one in particular stood out from Madeline Chessman ’12, Major Gifts Assistant at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:
Hang in there seniors! I wish I had been told the following my senior year:
1) The job description is not the job.
Don’t be too bummed if you don’t get an interview for that “perfect” job. Job descriptions are rarely 100% complete – that’s why the interview process exists. You get to ask the organization questions, and they get to ask you questions (because resumes, like job descriptions, rarely tell the whole story).
2) Talk to people who have careers that interest you.
Say you see a marketing position open up at a cool organization. You’ve never done marketing before, but you think you might like it. Find someone who has a marketing job, and ask for an informational interview (or phone/email/LinkedIn exchange). Each field is different (e.g. sometimes you have to intern, sometimes you need a master’s degree) and the best way to learn about a field is to talk to people in it.
3) Talk to people at organizations you might like to work for.
Companies aren’t their mission statements or annual reports. They are made of real people, and the only way to learn about those people and their organizational culture is by talking to employees. It’s like the college search process – each college has a personality, where do you “fit in” the best? And like the college search process, I recommend coming up with a prioritized list of potential employers – “reach” companies, “safety” companies, etc.
4) Just pick something!
Your major may or may not translate into an obvious first career step – and even if it does, entry-level positions may be scarce. My film major and business minor did not directly translate into working as a Major Gifts Assistant at the Kennedy Center, but it makes sense and I absolutely love my job. You may have lots of ideas for jobs, or none. That’s okay. But the worst thing to do is wallow in painful soul-searching and indecision. TWAMPs are smart, successful, and have lots of post-grad choices. Being decisive, brave, and making concrete goals for yourself will make your job search much more feasible. You also will receive much better advice when you ask more specific questions.
Thus: just pick something! It is definitely easier to break into your “chosen field” once you’ve chosen something, even if the choice is quasi-arbitrary. You have to start somewhere.
Best of luck, seniors – it gets better!
For help in your job or graduate school, please call 757-221-3231 for an appointment with a career adviser.
March 13, 2013 by Elizabeth Miller
It was one of my favorite stories to tell on an admission tour as we paused in the lobby of Blair Hall. I recounted the day I walked into my history course, “The Global Color Line” with Professor Vinson, and he stared us all down. “Today, you are going to teach class,” he said, while we shifted uncomfortably in our seats. Starting us off with a question, Vinson guided a few students to the front of the classroom where they started—quite awkwardly at first—to talk and then ask questions of others. Slowly, we rotated who was standing at the front, writing on the board, bringing up new ideas, and then passing the chalk. At the end of the class I found myself at the back of the room seated next to a smiling Prof. Vinson. “See,” he said, probably to the whole class but in that moment it felt like it was just to me, “Strong students don’t need strong professors.”
At that point in the story I would exclaim to my tour, “Which is a total lie! We needed an incredible professor like Prof. Vinson to get us to that point.” I still think that’s true, but I recently realized something else about what he said. It’s a reworking of a quote by Ella Baker: “Strong people don’t need strong leaders.”
Ella Baker was an incredible civil rights and social justice activist, often left out of the history of the modern civil rights movement. Thankfully, I was introduced to her work and words by Prof. Vinson, and she has become a role model for me. I love quotes, and Ella has one of my top three. In talking about her unrecognized leadership in a lot of movements, she said, “I have always thought what is needed is the development of people who are interested not in being leaders as much as in developing leadership among other people.” After reading those words my junior year, it became my guiding statement. I want to use my strengths to empower others. That’s also what Professor Vinson did that day in our classroom.
I’m with Ella on the idea that if we develop the leadership of all we won’t have to rely on the few who are catapulted into role of “The Leader,” but I still call Prof. Vinson out on telling us strong students don’t need strong professors. It is through the time I spent with strong professors that I became a strong student and realized that I needed to soak up knowledge to empower others. That’s what my time in William & Mary classrooms (and across campus) did for me. That’s what that one day that a professor at William & Mary lied to me did: It reminded me that I come alive with the power to know and to share, which is to learn.
February 27, 2013 by Elizabeth Miller
“Justin!” I yelped, jumping out my seat and making my way across the room. While my love of Justin Bieber has already been recorded in this blog, this time I was actually pulling off a fan girl moment for the one and only Justin Reid.
Justin is one of the first upperclassmen I met at William & Mary because he served as a Teaching Fellow for my Sharpe Freshman Seminar. From the beginning it was clear that Justin is just plain impressive. Smart and thoughtful (which are not always synonymous), involved, motivated, witty, kind—Justin is the kind of role model every college freshman deserves and I was lucky enough to have.
In all honesty, Justin’s path and mine weren’t very intertwined at W&M. He was two years older and busy being awesome while I was just figuring out what this whole “college thing” was about. With Justin though, it wasn’t really about quantity but quality. Each time we interacted, whether it was the first year as my Fellow, bumping into each other at an event, or just walking across campus, I always felt better and motivated to be even better by talking to Justin. (That’s one of the great things about William & Mary’s campus, we’re never tripping over each other but we are always running into each other.)
Justin is also the originator of one of my favorite phrases, “If you’re not doing something, something’s not getting done.” Despite having a lot to get done on campus, Justin always took the time talk to me. When I was struggling to figure out how to “succeed” at W&M as a sophomore, he stopped, thought about his answer, and then shared his own experiences with me without presuming to say that his path was the right one. Ever ready with a smile even while dashing off to his next meeting, Justin was always a friendly face for me at William & Mary. I can only hope that as an upperclassman myself, I provided even a small amount of the inspiration and guidance to younger students that Justin did for me.
All of this is why, despite being at a formal lecture at Swem Library and despite no longer being an overwhelmed freshman but instead a grown-up staff person, I found myself bounding over to Justin and giving him a hug when I discovered that he was moderating the panel I was attending. The panel, a fascinating dialogue about school lock-outs and massive resistance in Farmville, Virginia, was co-sponsored by the Moton Museum, where Justin now serves as Associate Director. As I said, he’s impressive. In fact, when I asked my colleague Austin Pryor ’07 his thoughts on the event, his first response was, “It just reminded me how awesome Justin Reid is.” And he is. Thanks to my undergraduate years at William & Mary, I can only hope that some of that awesomeness rubbed off on me.
February 11, 2013 by Christian Dutilh
I’m sitting here writing a blog post and realized that in the several months that I’ve been working at my first (real) job, I have never written a post about it. Alas, since this is the purpose of having an alumni blog, here goes nothing.
I work as an analyst at Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate services company. Never heard of it? Join the club. Real estate, although it plays an enormous role in the business sphere, is a world within itself.
Jones Lang LaSalle, and other large real estate companies like it, cover everything commercial and beyond. We don’t sell residential homes, though. We help companies and corporations large and small find and lease space and help landlords by finding tenants to fill their vacancies. This sector, called brokerage, is by and large the biggest cash cow for the commercial real estate world. To be a broker, one must be well-spoken, extremely driven, and able to hob-knob with CEO’s. As many joke, one must also be an excellent golfer (or at least a member of a great club). It’s commission-based mega-sales at its finest and it’s unquestionably the most competitive sector of real estate. However, I’m not a broker.
Jones Lang LaSalle also provides international real estate advisory services. Imagine you’ve gotten together some investors and you’d like to buy an office building in Shanghai. We have offices all around the world to provide local expertise. Imagine you’re in charge of a large hotel conglomerate and you need someone to facilitate the construction process of your new location in Rio. We can help. Imagine you’re a branch of the military and you need a company to manage all of your privatized military housing across the country. Check. Anything you can conceive of that takes up space, we can be of service and locate the best team across the globe to help with whatever challenges arise.
My little niche in the real estate world right now is on the EUL/Federal/Non-DoD Team (a mouthful, huh?) and we help federal clients with their real estate needs, which are vast indeed. Just think—who owns the most real estate in America? Wal-Mart? McDonald’s? Target? The federal government is definitely included in that list.
Real estate, the biggest cost for any company or agency, involves much strategy. Where should we construct a new building in this emerging market? Will the market support it once it’s been constructed? Could this aging building in Kansas City be somehow re-purposed? How could we save taxpayer dollars by consolidating our agency-wide real estate portfolio? How do we plan for the future of our assets in a sustainable way? Our team works to answer these crucial, far-reaching questions for our federal clients. And it’s pretty cool.
My next blog post is going to be about how to get into the commercial real estate industry. It’s fraught with challenges, so I believe it will make for an informative post. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!
Happy belated birthday, W&M and keep harkin’.
January 25, 2013 by Ryann Tanap
For all of you preparing for graduation, listen up. I have some valuable advice for the class of 2013. To the classes of 2014, 2015, 2016, don’t worry! You still have time. However, this advice is certainly just as applicable to everyone at the College, so you may proceed.
- Slow down. How, you ask? Well, if you’re anything like the rest of the TWAMP population, you are taking 21 credits, juggling part-time jobs and running a handful of organizations and organized sports teams. Breathe. Where is the time that you reserved just for you? I know it pains you to hear this, but this is your last semester as an undergrad student. Drop a few commitments; no one will judge you. Please do your all-too-precious mind a favor and learn to do things that make you happy. Once you enter the “real world” – which by the way, isn’t as scary as you think – you’ll be much more busy. Take this time to relax. We all know you’re a professional at multitasking, but don’t overwork yourself for no reason. You’ll have plenty of time to work (say, the rest of your life).
- Exercise! I know that the “gym” may not be in everyone’s vocabulary, but who says it has to be? Spring semester is upon you, and so are copious amounts of sunshine and fresh air. If you know that you don’t have time, make time! Remember, you’ve just dropped some of your extracurricular commitments. Go on a run (jogs and walks count too) around campus. Take a bike ride around CW. Grab some friends, head to Lake Matoaka and rent a canoe or kayak at the boathouse. It’s free with your student ID. And even if you haven’t been to the Rec Center yet, there’s no better time to start. Sign up for a Zumba class, or ask to join a friend who frequents the Rec. Your body needs exercise, so stop holding back.
- Spend your time with the people you love most. To my dear brilliant and radiant social butterflies: I know you love making new friends. That’s great! But just remember: Commencement is in May, so reach out to friends you’ve made along the way, or have unintentionally lost touch with. After Commencement, you won’t be able to knock on your hall mates’ door to ask them to join you for dinner. You won’t be able to go on a late night trip to Wawa with the friends who’ve camped out at Swem with you during exams. You won’t be able to wake up your roommate at 3am to tell her about your night out, or about that job offer email that found its way to your inbox. This is your time to be with those who brighten your day, with those who you’ve made lasting friendships with. Your time at W&M is finite. So who would you rather spend it with? I want you to imagine their faces. That person (or group of people) that just came to your mind? That’s who you’re going to call right now. You’re going to make plans to catch “The Hobbit”, which you haven’t been able to see since you’ve been busy. You’re going to drive to their dorm or apartment to pick them up so you can grab froyo together. You’re going to agree to meet for tomorrow’s yoga class. After all, you have more time, especially since you’re not attending (or running) five meetings this evening. Right?
- Attend campus events! Speaking of extracurricular activities, instead of running a bunch of clubs, why not attend other organizations’ events this semester? This is your chance to check out events you’ve always wanted to see, but never had the time to do so. There are always guest speakers and entertainers, fundraisers (selling delicious treats of course), and performances around campus this time of year! I know money may be tight, but when else do you have the opportunity to attend an event for less than $15 (or even better, for free) and not have to drive 45 minutes to get there? I recommend FASA‘s Annual Culture Night, which will be held on the evening of February 8th. The show (filled with exciting dance numbers, musical performances and stellar acting – all rehearsed in a matter of weeks) is in the Commonwealth, and is followed by a delightful Filipino feast. Tickets go on sale the week before the show in Sadler, or you can contact the President, Dannie Angeles, at email@example.com, for more information. Okay, that’s my shameless plug for this blog post. But seriously, you should go!
- Check out the Williamsburg Winery. Are you 21 or older? Perfect! Just bring your ID you can join a free tour and wine tasting! If you want, pay $5 to keep the wine glass. Tours are held on Mondays through Saturdays from 10am-4pm, and on Sundays from 11am-4pm. I recommend you grab your freshman hall mates and head to the winery’s Gabriel Archer restaurant for lunch, then top it off with a lovely tour!
- Cherish these last few months at the College. It’s easy to wish your classes and work would vanish. But this community (that I hope you’ve grown to love as much as I still do) is truly unique. Where else can you leave your laptop and TI-83 for hours on a study table in Swem, while you jet off to philosophy class in Wren? Where else can you lose your wallet (containing your ID, credit cards, cash and insurance information) by the Units on a snow day, and have it returned to you in just a few days time? Where else do the Dining Services staff sing as they cook and serve your lunch? It truly is the little things, so take some time to acknowledge and appreciate them.
Now go forth, friends! Embrace and love every minute you have in the ‘Burg. You won’t regret it.
January 9, 2013 by Elizabeth Miller
Remember the final battle of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Harry is fighting He Who Shall Not Be Named (Fine, for Dumbledore’s sake, I’ll say it—Voldemort)? All the professors of Hogwarts have been battling the whole time, and they gather to stand around Harry. Sometimes I picture myself in that moment, except instead of a battle of good and evil, I’m in some sort of academic show-down. How or why I got there is beyond me. All I know is that I’m about to do battle based on the power of my education, and suddenly all of these professors are standing behind me.
While I doubt I will ever actually find myself in such a battle (perhaps that’s what a dissertation defense is like), there is something magically wonderful about knowing that I’ve got some pretty powerful professors who have prepared me for it and who, in my mind, would stand behind me.
Prof. Tierney, who taught me to simplify the story to understand the power dynamics at play, one of the greatest tools I’ve ever developed in understanding the world.
Prof. Vinson, who showed me how multiple narratives could fit together to make an infinitely longer and more interesting story. Jumping up onto a desk to convey a point is also one of the best lecture strategies I’ve ever been present for.
Prof. Kennedy, who gave me the credibility to say that my love of television did indeed make sense to some very smart people, although she did ruin CSI and Law & Order for me.
Prof. Currans, who rocked my world with so many epiphanies, mostly about all the things I wasn’t seeing or hearing. Looking for the silences now defines a lot of my sense of self and justice.
Prof. Gray, who once told me that my theory writing was dandy, which coming from her incredible intellect made me think maybe I really could understand that which is complicated (i.e. Judith Butler).
Prof. Fisher, who reminded me that what I love most are stories about people, places, identity, and change. Plus, he forgave me for only being a faux-Westerner.
Prof. Hanley, who laid out in one semester the sociological tools I needed to make sense of how I saw the world and how I wanted to change it, and once told us only one of the essay options would be on the exam but day-of let us choose between two.
Prof. Sohoni, who wove together sociology and story in a way that made my brain kick into gear and begin synthesizing all the things I had been struggling to piece together. The juice and donuts he brought on movie days were also pretty great.
Prof. Putzi, who defended my right and ability to learn by giving me every opportunity I asked for and every so often let one page of my thesis draft get through with no edits on it.
Prof. Quark, who exemplified the cool and crazy smart I wanted to be when I grew up and then helped me develop some of the skills to get there by challenging my brain every day.
Prof. Korwin, who let me write about Justin Bieber, reminding me that academics could really shape how you see (and by that I mean critically analyze) any part of the world.
Prof. Pieper, who I probably drove crazy with my incessant hand-raising but who I still email with stories of how something he taught me is informing my life, and he even writes back.
Prof. McGovern, who has yet to actually teach me in a classroom, still meets with me long after his Freshman Advisor role has expired, and from day one of college has reassured me that learning, the thing I love most, really is good for you.
October 29, 2012 by Brian Focarino
William & Mary folks are a strange (but awesome) family in a strange (but awesome) place – and Homecoming brings the annual memory jog that this has always been W&M’s M.O.
This weekend’s been a strange (but awesome) weekend. As the rest of the East Coast braces for Hurricane Sandy’s approach – ‘playfully’ dubbed the “Frankenstorm” – by evacuating coastal areas and taking to grocery stores, members of the W&M family from all areas and all decades have reverse evacuated to the old College, living proof that in the logic of all W&M alumni, homecomings > hurricanes.
As the clouds gather and the winds begin to kick up, College Delly has never been more crowded, and never have more people been seen falling down the Green Leafe’s still-disastrous front steps. Confusion Corner hasn’t seen such dishevelment since last October. Just walking down Richmond Rd exposes you to the constant threat of un-prompted, rib-crushing hugs from our oldest friends with the most familiar faces.
But while the W&M family gathers to share a reunion, a beer, a booth, a back-slap, a re-kindling, a laugh, a memory, a tailgate, and the many, many moments of our most-formative years in this place, we also gather to bask, in some way, in a larger fact.
Profound in its simplicity is the fact that the W&M experiment has always stood apart from anywhere else. Our alumni stand apart. Our campus stands apart. Our friendships, our accomplishments, and our pride stand apart. Yesterday I watched members of the Class of 2016 speak richly, laugh, and trade stories with new friends from the Class of 1955. I watched as students hosted their parents – and their parents classmates – in Lodges where different members of the same family have lived, and learned, across generations. I watched as parents from classes in the 90s and 00s, decked in green and gold, walked along with their children, clad in green and gold—future members of the Class of 2032.
W&M stands apart because in a world that is profoundly divided, this college is profoundly shared. As I walk past generations of the W&M family walking these old familiar brick walks this weekend, I’m vibrantly aware of the continuity of W&M.
It is said at W&M, and it is true, “We have all drunk from wells we did not dig, and been warmed by fires we did not build.”
It’s fallen on me and my friends now to stoke the fires of W&M, and that’s a responsibility and a privilege I bear gladly.
To all returning to this grand old place I’d say:
We’ve kept the lights on. Welcome home.
October 17, 2012 by Bailey Thomson
Even though I may not contribute consistently to the W&M blogosphere, I do actively follow news from the College and greater Williamsburg. And this past week has been a massive one for Tribespeople and Williamsburgers alike! From the Dalai Lama’s visit to President Obama’s debate camp, campus and the city have been full of exciting events and celebrity sightings. As if that were not enough to make me jealous, friends in Williamsburg have started posting obligatory fall foliage pictures. Is there any town more beautiful in the world during this time of year?
As I write this, I am more than 8,000 miles from the College and springtime is just beginning! In August, I moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, where I am the Director of Development and Leadership for eAdvance, a South African education organization aimed at providing equitable education to all South Africans. eAdvance oversees and provides support to Spark Schools, a network of low-fee private schools expanding quickly to ensure high quality, affordable education for primary grades students. The first Spark school, Spark Ferndale Primary School, will open in January in the Ferndale suburb of Randburg, a district of Johannesburg. Then, Spark Schools will grow to 64 schools in the next decade! My role includes curricular development, professional development, and leadership training so that our Spark Schools faculty are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to serve students and their families.
I frequently think about what it means to contribute so intimately (education, for me, is close to the heart) to a community so far from my home. The distance is geographic, cultural, philosophical, racial, and linguistic. The question of “diversity” is an interesting one: am I lending a diversifying hand or promoting more of the imperialism that damaged this country for so long? What is the impact of being a white American, rather than a white South African of English descent or a white South African of Afrikaans (Dutch) descent? How can I serve others here without imposing what I assume they need, rather than what they truly need?
Apartheid ended in South Africa less than two decades ago. Race still divides people in terms of where they live, the traditions they practice, their access to services, their jobs and income, and more. And yet, in many ways, it feels like the people of Johannesburg have progressed further generally than the people of Richmond, Virginia, my home. Our student population in 2013, according to current enrollment, will be split almost equally ethnically between white, black, and Indian students. Our teaching staff of twelve will have white, black, and Indian faculty. The investors in eAdvance come from multiple ethnic groups, as do our start-up supporters.
I recall W&M as a diverse school where students nonetheless often self-segregated based on race. (Race is certainly not the only form of diversity, but it’s worth exploring since it cuts so deeply into history in nearly every country and certainly into history on our campus.) There were very few of us white students who were active in the Multicultural Ambassador Council, NAACP, and other “diversity” organizations when I began in 2006. But from my freshman year to my senior year, organizations gradually diversified—not just in terms of racial make-up, but also in terms of broadening purpose. And we started having very honest conversations about what it meant to value every W&M student. Now, Professor Anne Charity Hudley and others are turning those conversations academic by conducting a survey that will “increase the understanding of what curricular factors, pedagogies, and other structures within higher education foster comprehensive academic participation among underrepresented groups.” This type of progress – from the cafeteria and Terrace to the classrooms and offices – is worth celebrating. It makes this alumna proud to witness the seriousness with which the Tribe takes the task of acting with dignity and respect toward all its members.
Our kindergarten, first, and second grade students next year will live by five core values: Service, Persistence, Achievement, Responsibility, and Kindness. When I think carefully about it, I know that it was the College who taught me how to genuinely and authentically demonstrate those values in a new and diverse community. The eAdvance and Spark Schools staff will strive to do the same for our students, W&M international students in the classes of 2027, 2028, and 2029.