William and Mary

Campus Life

St. Patty’s Day

April 22, 2014 by

My second favorite holiday of the year is St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s the Irish heritage, or growing up in the Boston area, but there is nothing better than decking yourself out in as much green as possible. St. Patrick’s Day takes on a very different tone at William & Mary. While everyone is Irish for that one day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day looks like an explosion of school spirit at the College. Having the colors green and gold makes it very easy to wear a little green, but it’s never just a little green here.

One of my absolute favorite things about the College is the school spirit. Whether it’s at football games or seeing the College’s name pop up on a list of awesome schools, we are fiercely proud to be members of the Tribe. When you come to William & Mary it is nearly impossible to be just a face in the crowd. Even the one or two people I know that are not as involved in extracurricular activities on campus, seem to somehow be connected to my friends from other circles of my W&M life.

I love that we are a family at William & Mary, and I love that we show our Tribe Pride loud and proud!

- Kate Fitzgerald

Brown Paper Packages tied up with string…

April 22, 2014 by

One of my favorite things about William & Mary is the bragging rights. You go to the oldest college in the nation? I go to the oldest university. You have to pledge an honor code at your college? My college has the first and oldest honor code in the country. This important guy in history is a graduate of your school? Let me read you the list of people that graduated from William & Mary, maybe you’ll recognize one or a hundred of them.

So maybe it’s actually the history that’s a part of William & Mary’s DNA that I love. I love walking to class in the Wren building knowing the amazing people who have taken classes there before me. I love that my campus is covered (exclusively) in bricks, reminding me with every step I take that there is so much history to be found on these grounds. I love that W&M doesn’t just boast about its past, but is so invested in its future.

One of the best things about W&M is that they know their history and are more focused on how great the future is going to be. They spend so much time taking care of their family of students, reminding them over the course of their time here that this will always be a home for them, but they are going to go off and do amazing things. Whether it’s founding a nation, winning an Academy Award, or interning in Washington D.C., William & Mary students have been changing the world for 321 years and there is no reason to doubt that we won’t be able to do the same thing. One month left until I’m tasked with upholding that legacy. Bring it on.

- Kate Fitzgerald

A few of my favorite things

April 22, 2014 by

Green and gold t-shirts and coming in with credits;
Admission decision emails and early registration
Getting to pull all the transfer strings
These are a few of my favorite things!

But really, here are 10 of the most awesome things about being a transfer at William and Mary!

  1. Transfers bring all kinds of distinctive experiences to our Tribe community. All transfers have a story. Whether they are veterans, students with an associate’s degree from a two-year college, or just looking for something that their first school didn’t quite provide, each transfer has a unique experience to share. Trust me, we’d love to hear it!
  2. Transfers have been around the block a few times and they know what they truly want and need from a college experience. They’re able to look a little deeper when profiling universities than they might have as a high school senior. When a student decides to transfer to William & Mary, that means they really think they’ll find their perfect fit here [and they’re usually right!]. To me, that’s a super special compliment. Not only did we pick you, but you choose us. And let me be the first to tell you how excited we are to have you here!
  3. Transfer orientation at William and Mary is a really great way to meet other transfers while also being integrated into the school as a whole. Orientation encompasses the five days prior to the first day of classes and is really one of the few times you’ll be around all the other transfers [especially ones who live near you since they generally group based on dorms/living areas]. Take advantage! Meet your peers! Share experiences and make friends! I promise, you won’t regret it.
  4. Don’t tell anyone I told you so, but there is such a thing as the “transfer card”. Pull it out of your back pocket whenever you can. I can’t promise that it will always work, but if you’re talking to a professor looking for an override or something along those lines, it’s worth a try! Faculty and administration in my experience have been very friendly and accommodating.
  5. Being a transfer is never something that will impact you negatively here at William & Mary. I’ve never felt left out or discriminated against because I’m a transfer. Quite the opposite, people usually are really curious to hear my story when I tell them I transferred. The Tribe community is so extremely welcoming that from day one and onward you really get a sense that people truly want you here and want to meet and learn from you.
  6. Similarly for #5, transfer is only a “label” if you choose it to be. No one is going to say, “Hey, that’s a transfer!” every time you walk in the Caf. There’s no big bold TRANSFER over your name on a professor’s roster for classes. Being a transfer is something that you can choose to let people know or not. No one is going to treat you any differently either way. You’re a William & Mary student. You’re part of the Tribe now. That’s your only real label.
  7. There’s a super awesome Twitter just for transfers that Kate and I run [and once you’re admitted, a Facebook group!] where you can get all kinds of great info about Day for Admitted Transfers, college life on campus, transfer tips and more! So you should totally follow @WM2014Transfers.
  8. Transfers get a bit of a registration break. We know that transfers usually have a better idea about what classes they want or need for their major than incoming freshmen. Therefore, transfers are allowed to register for up to 11 credit hours during the summer before they get to campus, whereas the freshmen have to wait until Orientation to go through initial registration.
  9. Transfers don’t have to deal with freshman dorms! If you apply for housing, you’re only going to be considered for upperclassman housing [which 9 times out of 10 means a much better dorm]. Look over the Residence Life website before you reply and request a couple of your favorites. While it’s not guaranteed, it’s worth a shot!
  10. You get a whole day dedicated just to transfers and letting you know all of the other awesome reasons why you should choose to transfer to William & Mary. Mark your calendars; this year’s Day for Admitted Transfers is May 3rd. I hope to see you there!

- Audrey Savage

15 Reasons Why I Chose W&M

April 14, 2014 by

Day for Admitted Students was this weekend, and William & Mary welcomed over 3,000 students and their families to campus. As a tour guide, I’ve been volunteering with DFAS for three years now, and every year the tribe pride that accompanies the occasion is unrivaled. Admitted students are exceptionally great because they’ve already applied and found something to love about W&M–and while deciding on a college is difficult, DFAS is meant to show them who we are, and what they could be a part of. So without further ado, here are the top 15 reasons I chose to become a member of the Tribe.

  1. The beauty of the campus and the surrounding area. Having grown up in a city, I had never seen so many trees and bricks in one place. I was enchanted by the beauty of old campus and the colonial architecture on DoG Street.
  2. The people. Every time I got lost on my campus visit, someone was always more than willing to point me in the right direction. Everyone was friendly, the students seemed interesting and genuinely happy, and the professors I spoke to via email were amazingly helpful.
  3. The Wren Building. You can’t challenge the appeal of attending class in the oldest academic building in America.
  4. The traditions. Between Yule Log, Convocation, and King & Queens, W&M has an undeniable array of amazing traditions. And what’s more, everyone takes them seriously and each tradition has a history.
  5. The prestige. Attending one of the most elite public schools in the nation has its advantages–the W&M name carries a definite weight.
  6. The small classes. I wanted a school where I could have a personal relationship with my professors, and small classes where I could be an active participant. I found that here, even in entry level classes and major requirements.
  7. My senior interviewer. He was my first up close and personal impression of a W&M student, and I had a great interview. I still remember him making me laugh and putting my nerves at ease.
  8. Lake Matoaka. Outdoor recreation has always been important to me, and having 10 miles of hiking trails at my disposal was a definite plus. And don’t forget the canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards that are free to check out with your student ID.
  9. Tribe Pride. W&M students have a definite sense of community and school spirit that I didn’t find on any other campuses I toured.
  10. The Cipher. W&M is the only school with its own British charter, crest, and cipher. I remember thinking even the police cars looked classy with the intertwined W and M emblazoned on their sides.
  11. A sense of belonging. When I stepped onto campus, I felt like I belonged. I could see myself walking through Wren during Convocation, wearing green and gold during football games, and taking pictures with the Griffin.
  12. The safety of the campus. Coming from Baltimore, Maryland (the third homicide capital in America), being able to feel safe and secure on campus was a definite plus.
  13. The Alma Mater. Every time I sing it, I still get really excited to shout “William! And Mary!” at the top of my lungs during the chorus.
  14. Taylor Reveley. He just seemed awesome. He still is awesome.
  15. The gut feeling that this was the place for me. When I walked onto campus for a tour my junior year of high school, I never wanted to leave. Between the amazing people, the brilliant professors, and the beautiful campus, I knew that W&M was the best place for me for the next four years. Applying early is not something I have ever regretted–I can’t see myself anywhere else.

Choose Home

April 4, 2014 by

Admitted Class of 2018,

Congratulations on your admission to William & Mary!

Now that you have received your wonderful and exciting emails from the W&M Admission Office, it’s your turn to choose what college to attend! Yes, this is daunting, I know. I remember having SO MANY questions about what I would experience in college over the next four years. So, when making this tough of a choice, I hope that you all will think about what you hope to gain overall as part your collegiate experience. I hope you choose a place that deep down you feel that you can call home. If during your college decision making process you choose ‘Home’, I believe that your experiences and achievements will exceed your wildest imagination.

I want to tell you why, when I chose a college, William & Mary became my right choice.

Four years ago, I mapped out my goals and expectations for the next four years. Even then, though, there were so many aspects of my collegiate experience that I had no way of knowing what would happen. I was going in blind. I didn’t know then that I would have the chance to help curate a Michelangelo drawing exhibition and have my name published in a book on the subject. I didn’t know that, while studying abroad, I would watch an outdoor opera performed in Florence Italy’s Piazza Santa Croce, only a day after taking an art history class inside that same church. I didn’t know that I would spend a summer afternoon working for the Admission Office by playing a cut-throat game of kick ball against the Deans on the Sunken Garden. I didn’t even know I’d be making almost nightly study runs to Wawa for chicken strips or chips and salsa – per W&M student tradition. (But let’s face it: #Gotta_Hava_Wawa)

Here, I believe that I am able forge a path with distinct involvements, leadership roles, secret study spots, and groups of friends. As part of the William & Mary family, I am able to truly be myself and am motivated by others to succeed and achieve. Once I started college at W&M, all of the surprising moments and details of my college experience just seemed to fall into place. Here there are so many opportunities – unique and surprising and altogether pretty magical opportunities – that I have been able to take advantage of.

One of my huge time commitments here is my role on AMP or Alma Mater Productions – the campus event programming board. I am truly honored to have had the chance to run some of the major events on campus over the last four years. Some of my favorite weeks are slam packed with AMP events. I get to hear an Environmental Sustainability speaker on Tuesday, hug a llama at a petting zoo on Wednesday afternoon, listen to friends perform at a student music showcase on Thursday night, Keep up my team’s title of Trivia Champions on Friday, and go to a Wiz Khalifa concert on Saturday. After months of planning, seeing an event run smoothly and successfully is a joy. AMP has provided me with an engaging work opportunity and a busy schedule, but also with a solid group of friends and like-minded individuals who are all passionate about supporting their community and giving back to campus.

I will never forget one of my favorite nights this year, going to a sorority formal with one of my best friends. Even though I am not affiliated with a Greek organization, I have always felt so included and welcomed at any event that a Greek organization has put on. After we danced the night away, we traded our heels for tennis shoes and ran across campus to AMP’s Late Nite Glowball event. Yes, we were still wearing our dresses and bling, but those boys had to watch out; we were pretty lethal with glow-in-the-dark dodge balls. That night epitomizes for me the magical possibilities of W&M and all the opportunities that I can take advantage of each day with my friends and organizations.

This year, I also discovered the joys of brunch. I LOVE brunch. Conveniently, Williamsburg is somehow the capital of pancake houses in the United States. The number of restaurants where I can indulge in pancakes and bacon is truly astronomical. Because of this, a group of friends and I recently decided to create a “Brunch Tour of Williamsburg” in order to travel around the area testing out all of the brunch locations possible. French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, and Honey Butter’s to-die-for corncakes really are the best way to start the weekend while laughing around a huge table with my best friends and Brunch Buddies.

Another one of my favorite moments from this semester was the spring tradition of Campus Golf. The event is a Greek philanthropy where teams dressed in crazy costumes play a round of golf across Old Campus. My team decided to be Sexy Presidents. Let me tell you, it is somewhat difficult to make President Martin van Buren look sexy with a bald cap and white pillow-stuffing mutton chops at 8:30 on a Saturday morning. It didn’t help when George Washington, Honest Abe, Teddy Roosevelt and I ended up being chased around the Sunken Garden by a mob of Sailing Club members dressed as knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail—all wielding golf clubs and coconuts. I don’t think I made one hole that morning of Campus Golf. That said, the philanthropy did however lead to a spring break trip with my golf caddies, my fellow presidents, and one of the Knights Who Say ‘Ni!’. During campus traditions and community events, it is friends like these who have made an impact on my overall time here.

These are only a very few of surprises and moments that have made my college experience so special. I chose a school that fosters innovation on a campus steeped in tradition; a school that stresses service to the community; and a school that revels in the unique and quirky passions of its students. In being part of this environment, all of my experiences became possible.

William & Mary is my Home. I wouldn’t change my decision for the world.

So, Class of 2018, I hope in your final decision you choose ‘Home.’ Choose a college where you feel you can thrive and take advantage of all the magical possibilities available to you. And if you want to really see if William & Mary can be ‘Home’ for you, I hope that you will join the Tribe on April 12th for W&M’s Day For Admitted Students. See you on campus soon!

Going Green…and Gold

March 31, 2014 by

Green has been a pretty popular color as of late. Some people “go green” to help the environment and spread awareness of how harmful our actions can be to our gentle planet. Others celebrate their Irish heritage by dyeing their town river green and wearing shamrock hats on St. Patrick’s Day. Some people just want to make a little more green for their wallet, what with the current economic climate being almost as unstable as the planet’s climate. However, my favorite way to “go green” is when it comes with gold too.

Did you know that in 1896 William & Mary’s school colors were orange and white? The colors weren’t changed to green and gold until 1924 in order to match the College’s coat of arms. Personally, I say a small thank you to whoever made that decision every day. I’d much rather sport a green and gold hoodie than a bright orange one.

But in all seriousness, I think that green and gold goes far beyond just being our school colors. It represents something much deeper and fundamentally ‘William & Mary’. Green can be seen all over our beautiful campus. One of the many benefits of being located in the tidewater Virginia area is the exceptionally lively, natural feel of our campus. Whether you’re walking through the wooded trails to the Caf, passing the Crim Dell on a sunny day, or lounging on the Sunken Garden, you’re pretty much constantly being made aware of how green and picturesque our campus is.

Gold, to me, represents our students. Every single member of the Tribe brings something amazing and positive to our community. They are literally golden. I don’t know anywhere else in the world that I can find such diverse, inspiring people to meet and learn with every day. To the Class of 2018, I know the admission committee worked hard making sure that each one of you is a shining gold star [can I seriously get any cornier? Sorry..] that will add so much to our community. I can’t wait to meet you all and encourage you to go green and gold!

- Audrey Savage

My Unicorn Song

March 31, 2014 by

The first song I learned is called the Unicorn Song. For anyone that’s heard it, you know what I’m talking about…the one with the green alligators and long-necked geese. Until I was about 14, I thought it was just a fun children’s song about unicorns…then I listened to the words. And now I know why I’ve never seen a unicorn to this very day.

Every year growing up, the town threw a GREAT St. Patrick’s Day party in the Hospitality House – yes that’s a dorm now and I’m really sad about no more parties. But all of our families would spend the day at the party singing old Irish songs and entering raffles, and playing shuffleboard. I remember these days as times with friends that I’ve had since we were born. As families that grew into bigger families as we got older and family meant more than brothers and sisters.

I’ve been so fortunate to grow up in a place where you don’t have to be related to be family, where everything works out in the wash, and you always wave to your neighbor. Now that I’m leaving it, I’m realizing how lucky I was to have it. How grateful I am to have learned how to be a good citizen and caring neighbor from this place. How much community really means to me. How playing 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon is easy as pie.

In the Irish Rover rendition of the Unicorn Song, they add a part to the end of the song that gives the unicorns wings to catch up to Noah’s Arc. All of the animals came in pairs, so maybe it’s time I start thinking of Williamsburg as my unicorn. And now it’s time to leave and find another.

- Kelley Quinzio

Show it off

March 31, 2014 by

My second favorite holiday of the year is St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe it’s the Irish heritage, or growing up in the Boston area, but there is nothing better than decking yourself out in as much green as possible. St. Patrick’s Day takes on a very different tone at William & Mary. While everyone is Irish for that one day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day looks like an explosion of school spirit at the College. Having the colors green and gold makes it very easy to wear a little green, but it’s never just a little green here.

One of my absolute favorite things about the College is the school spirit. Whether it’s at football games or seeing the College’s name pop up on a list of awesome schools, we are fiercely proud to be members of the Tribe. When you come to William & Mary it is nearly impossible to be just a face in the crowd. Even the one or two people I know that are not as involved in extracurricular activities on campus, seem to somehow be connected to my friends from other circles of my W&M life.

I love that we are a family at William & Mary, and I love that we show our Tribe Pride loud and proud!

- Kate Fitzgerald

Kate runs on Dunkin

March 28, 2014 by

William & Mary is wonderful. It’s a gorgeous campus, the weather is typically significantly warmer than home, and the people are fantastic. But this winter has been cold and wet. The best part about Spring Break is the minimal work that typically needs to be done. It’s half-way through the semester (I refuse to countdown the days ‘til graduation, so don’t ask), and all of my midterms are done! When I go home, I become the ultimate hermit. I wake up late, hang out on the couch, and brush my constantly shedding dog.

This break definitely had a lot of hibernation, but I also got a chance to go to a Bruins game with my family. It was tons of fun and an excellent game including a hat trick for David Krejci. The only other reason I left my house was Dunkin’ Donuts. A major reason I can survive at William & Mary is the Dunkin’ Donuts down the street, but there is nothing like Boston when it comes to Dunkies. There are two in my hometown on the same street! As it’s the beginning of March, everyone is on their mint kicks, and Dunkies is definitely included in that game. Mint Hot Chocolate is my weakness. Greenberry’s, the coffee shop in Swem Library, had some at the end of the fall semester, but I got a large one every day when I was home for break.

While I’ve missed my friends and am looking forward to the end here at W&M, I’m definitely going to miss the 2 minute drive to limitless Mint Hot Chocolate. Until next March, Dunkies, I guess I’ll settle with a regular.

- Kate Fitzgerald

Spring Break by Mark

March 28, 2014 by

I decided to take it easy this Spring Break. Most of it was filled with hanging out with my dogs and filling out applications for summer internships. However, for the first few days of break I went to visit my sister at Lynchburg College. It was a great time. She took me to her favorite restaurants and I was able to meet her friends and hang out. What I didn’t anticipate was the insight I would gain into the meaning of college life and what the end of the undergraduate journey looks like. My sister is a second semester senior at LC which means that this was my last trip to visit her before I attend her graduation ceremony. I can’t believe how the time has flown by. I still remember helping her move into her dorm for freshman year like it was yesterday. I have been able to watch her grow as a person and make lifelong friends, that inevitably have become acquaintances of mine.

For me, as a sophomore at William & Mary, I have forged many great friendships and a deep connection to my school. It’s incredible to think that come May, my time at W&M will be halfway over. So, even when you are pulling that all nighter before an exam or hanging out on the Sunken Garden on a lazy April afternoon and time seems to be crawling along, when you look back, it will feel like a blur. Take it all in, cherish each moment, and learn from what you will remember as some of the best years of your life.

- Mark Bland