March 20, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
With graduation looming (62 days as I write this…), I’ve been thinking about how to leave my legacy on campus. William & Mary has shaped my life so immensely that I want to give something back. My first way to give back was to participate in the Senior Class Gift. Each year seniors are encouraged to give back to the school that has given them so much. The students on the Senior Class Gift Committee set a goal for participation, this year the goal is 75% class participation. Seniors have the opportunity to choose which department will receive their gift. I chose to give my gift to the Office of Student Leadership Development because my involvement in Fraternity/Sorority Life and AMP has really shaped my college career and future prospects. Participating in the Senior Class Gift allows seniors to come together and celebrate their last semester at W&M. The Senior Class Gift Committee puts on events such as beer and wine tastings, restaurant nights, and t-shirt distributions. I can’t wait to see the Class of 2013 stone on the college walk with 75% participation!
More figuratively, I hope to give back by being a mentor to underclassmen. As an underclassman, I truly benefited from my interactions with older students in Fraternity/Sorority Life, leadership programs, and AMP. I knew that I wanted to be the same positive influence for future underclassmen. As the Panhellenic President, I worked closely with my Vice-President who took on the presidency this year. Throughout my year-long term, I made sure to be an example to her and ensure that she would excel in the job. I have continued to be there for her this semester and hope to stay connected after I graduate. Mentoring younger students through friendships and leadership positions is a great way to give back to the campus and other students. William & Mary is unique in that upperclassmen are always looking to make new connections, even as a second-semester senior I love to meet new people and be there for them in any way that I can. I hope to continue to give back to W&M long after I have left campus.
March 14, 2013 by Admission Ambassador
2012 was a great year, so far 2013 is sure to be even better!
March 13, 2013 by Laura Aragon
Every spring, the Sigma Chi Fraternity hosts Derby Days, which is a week long philanthropy event that raises money for the Children’s Miracle Network. Throughout the week, William & Mary’s sororities compete in different events for the title of Derby Days champion. Because all of the sororities participate, it is one of the biggest philanthropies of the year, and it just happens to be going on this week!
Each event of Derby Days scores sororities based on their participation and creativity. Then at the end of the week, all of these scores are combined to determine the winner. The events raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network in a variety of ways, including selling Derby Days t-shirts, rewarding the sorority that raises the most money (which encourages sisters to donate), and of course, Penny Wars, where sororities are each given a jar and they compete to fill theirs with the most coins. The most popular event of the week is the Lip Sync, in which each sorority dresses up in fun costumes and performs a choreographed dance. The Lip Syncs are as much fun to watch as they are to participate in, and many people see this as the grand finale of Derby Days.
While Derby Days is a lot of fun, it also raises money and awareness for an important national philanthropy, and it brings the Greek community together. Students definitely look forward to it all year, because even if your sorority doesn’t get first place, it is always a good time for a good cause.
November 2, 2012 by Kaitlin Noe
In high school, homecoming consisted of a singular night of dressing up and dancing, perhaps accented with a pep rally and school spirit. At W&M, it is an entire week of non-stop revelry that students begin planning for as soon as the school year kicks off. With an overwhelming amount of activities- every single organization on campus feels the need to make their voice heard in the din of school spirit that is homecoming- it can be overwhelming. So I’ve brought you the highlights of what is my personal experience with the homecoming hysteria.
1. Monday night: Paper due at 11 am Tuesday morning, yet I still offered up my house to host my sorority’s float-building. (During homecoming, sororities and fraternities will pair up for a week of parties and usually create a float together to enter into the Homecoming Parade.) As I sit in my room at the desk I never use I try to block out the sounds of music and shouting and planning that is bursting through the paper-thin piece of wood that is my door. Literally impossible. Instead I spend twenty minutes destroying a German chocolate cupcake from Extraordinary cupcakes (lived up to its name) and watching an episode of The League. Two hours later, after giving up on work, paying a visit to the float building, trying to go to my best friend’s house next door, blasting my headphones in hopes that it will block out the noise, and debating going to the library (Swem) for a minute before realizing I am far too lazy to ever walk that far, I give up any vain attempt on writing this essay and mournfully set my alarm for a sharp 7:30 am.
2. Wednesday night: If you ever thought that maybe you belonged in the 70’s, you probably should have hit me up Wednesday night. Thanks to the incredible overachiever-ness of one of my best friends and member of our partner fraternity, we hosted the Right On Band in the Sunken Gardens for Wednesday night of homecoming. Complete with fro’s, glitter, platform boots, and dancing go-go girls, the Right On band (who has played for the past four presidents and at Obama’s Inaugural Ball) led a huge groovin’ love train around the Sunken Gardens. Far out.
3. Thursday night: As Vice President Event Planning (pretentious title drop) for my sorority, I do a lot of work that I wouldn’t necessarily say I jump out of bed for: kicking rowdy people out of Formal, harassing local venues to get me their contracts in time, managing finances… This night, however, I had been planning for since June. I’m sure by now you’ve caught on to the “raving” trend that has snowballed into quite the phenomenon (Taylor Swift dubstep? really?). Well I’ve got to admit I’ve caught the bug. Guilty as charged. So I set to planning a rave for my sorority and fraternity’s Thursday night of homecoming. We did the whole nine yards and brought in a production company with laser lights, black lights, strobe lights, fog machine and, of course, a heavy bass. The result was everything the little raver in me dreamed of and more. Ninety girls and fifty guys (good odds, eh gentlemen?) piled into the room in neon, rave tutus (do they have an actual name?), fluffies, sequin shorts (guilty), face paint, and excesses of glitter. The same ninety girls and fifty guys left two hours later in a disarray of glow sticks, sweat, and sore dancing muscles. A successful night if ever I saw one. I hope the drivers on Richmond Road enjoyed watching us parade past in full rave apparel.
4. Friday night: Time for a classier turn of events; tonight is the members-only opening for the Muscarelle Museum’s 12th Faculty Show. As an intern for their Advancement Department (kind of a mash-up of marketing, communications, and development), I like to pretend I have VIP life status by attending these events. They generally consist of a classy array of wine, cheese, and elder residents in pearls and hats that would make any derby run proud. As an Art History major, the museum satisfies my every innate nerdy desire to pretentiously gaze at and evaluate art. Making it even more appropriate that I dedicate the beginning of my Friday evening to dressing up classy (happens about once a year) and sneaking gourmet cheeses from a back table while listening to my Professor (Distinguished Scholar in Residence Dr. Spike) lecture on everything from Close to Preti. There’s always time for dancing when the opening ends at 8.
5. Saturday night: One of the harder decisions of my homecoming career. I work at the local bar Paul’s Deli (the bars here are called Delis or Taverns), and homecoming Saturday is hands-down the busiest night of the year. Non-stop packed from wall to wall from noon until close at 2 am. I worked this shift last year with my roommate/best friend and saw several girls cry, one couple break up over a beer, an alumni pass out in the bathroom and took home an entire pizza because whoever ordered promptly forgot about it. And not going to lie, the tips are out the wahoozers. So in the end, it’s worth sacrificing the one evening of revelry with friends because all of the tips enthusiastic alumni shove on the poor college bartender (that’s me!) are going straight into my piggy bank for my spring semester in Paris.
In every corny and sentimental meaning of the word, I have had more singular bonding experiences and lasting memories with my friends during homecoming than any other week of the year. Half-way through and already sad to see it go, welcome home Tribe!
Follow me on twitter! @wmkaitlin
September 19, 2012 by Stephen Bennett
Guest blogger: Nick Hampson, a fraternity President and senior from New Jersey, writes about the value of leadership in fraternity life.
I am a proud member of the Greek community on campus. My decision to join my chapter was one of the most formative of my college experience. This is becoming clearer and clearer to me as I experience the “I’m a senior, I’m going to miss this” moments more and more. What makes me appreciate the bonds I’ve formed through my fraternity is that all these moments seem to be centered on the people and experiences I have been afforded since becoming a brother.
As I see it, you join a fraternity for one basic overarching reason: to enhance your college experience in as many ways as possible. With this in mind, there are two central benefits I see in being part of a brotherhood. These two benefits are the quality of people you surround yourself with that encourage you to reach your full potential, and the support network you have in your brothers when hard times come. Allow me to elaborate.
When I was a kid my dad refused to buy a basketball hoop for our driveway. No matter how many times I put it on my Christmas list or begged him to get even the cheapest one at Sports Authority, he wouldn’t budge. Instead, since the time I was old enough to be able to hoist the ball up to the rim on a regulation 10-foot hoop, he insisted that I go up to the courts a few minutes away from my house and play there. For a while I thought he was just stingy. But part way through high school I began to realize that the reason I could hold my own in any style of a game, be it the packed YMCA gym in urban Hackensack, NJ, or the pristine high school gymnasium of Ramapo High School as the varsity captain of my team, was because I had been able to identify myself as a player and improve by playing against players who were always – until a certain point – better than me up at the Berdan Grove courts. I hadn’t just stayed home in the driveway shooting hoops by myself. I see joining a fraternity the same way. You are making that commitment to “play ball” with men who will push you to be better and achieve that ideal that you want to move towards. If you surround yourself with men who take the right things seriously and strive to live meaningful, successful lives, it will rub off on you and you’ll be better for it. This also means that your selection of organization is of the utmost importance. Finding a chapter that lines up with the values you want to hold yourself to is not always easy, but it will make your experience that much more rewarding. Different fits are best for different people and identifying where it is you’re the most comfortable, while still feeling that you’re pushing yourself to be a better man, is where you should join.
It would be all well and good if we could put these huge expectations on ourselves, challenge ourselves, and simply succeed every time. The truth is, though, to my understanding, that is not how life works and certainly not how college works. There are times when you’ll mess up, times when you’ll lose confidence, and occasionally in those times, life will send you something else to kick you in the teeth. I don’t know about you, but when I had times like those in high school, I had family and friends who knew how to get me back in the swing of things. When you’re a long way from home, those days can be just a little darker and those moods can last just a little bit longer without the right people around you. I can almost guarantee you that there will be something that will happen over these next four years that you won’t see coming and that will hit you like a ton of bricks. That group of friends – who by the very nature of their relation to you, as brothers, have promised their full support to you in any way necessary – cannot take that hardship from you, but they surely can help you weather the storm. I’ve had my ton-of-bricks moment, hopefully the only one, and I’m glad I had the people I did around me to see me through it.
Join a fraternity because you’re ready to make a commitment to yourself and a connection to those around you. When it’s all said and done, you’ll be glad you did.
September 14, 2012 by Stephen Bennett
As the craziness of fraternity and sorority rush continues, many of our fellow Tribe members are unsure about Greek life, and what is so great about it. Well, what are the benefits of Greek life? Some people think Greek life is only a group wanting a “To-ga! To-ga! To-ga!” party, as Mr. John Belushi so eloquently stated in Animal House, but in reality Greek life offers a great opportunity to push oneself to articulate his or her values and work together with others while living together. I started noticing these benefits at the College, but it truly became apparent during my summer internship.
This summer I interned with a nonprofit in Ecuador with students from all over the country working on market-based development. We lived and worked together for two months. It was a wonderful experience, but we did have our fair share of issues and disagreements between us. We would discuss, argue, and become stressed while we worked on campaigns, community consulting, and other projects. My Greek experience was evident during those dialogues and prepared me for this type of close quarters and personal work with others, especially those with strong personalities and perspectives. I had the experience of arguing, discussing, and debating my views, values, and opinions and knew that I could do this with my fellow interns without hindering my relationship with any of them.
Yes, William and Mary has enhanced my capacity to articulate myself to others and has expanded my thought process; however, the unique experience that Greek life offers of living with others while being accountable to both a larger organization and to my brothers challenges me and any fraternity man to express his values to his brothers (in my case 70 brothers) and debate those values, but still being able to walk away afterward knowing that his brother is still his brother. Together my brothers and I continue to strengthen my fraternity and strive for personal development and chapter improvement, even though we occasionally disagree. This is essential to understand as someone progresses through college and prepares for entering the scary world after graduation. Each person needs to know his or her values and how to express those to others in a powerful and substantive way without damaging personal relationships. Greek life allows each brother or sister the opportunity to be a part of a larger entity and improve that entity together while incorporating the chaos of classes, extracurriculars, and just living daily life together.
However, in the unique internship environment there is a different kind of chaos while working. The other interns were great and many have become good friends, but during the challenges and stressed-filled moments I appreciated and understood the value of my Greek experience that made me the person I am today. It has made me look beyond myself and realize how to have great relationships with others while working together towards a mutual goal. Greek life proves that someone can work hard, play hard, and improve oneself while being a part of a brotherhood or sisterhood.
Yes, Greek life has some great social aspects that many members enjoy from formals, late night hangouts, and more. But the skills, experience, and growth that I have acquired from my fraternity and I am sure that others have received from their brotherhood or sisterhood is sometimes unrealized until stepping back and noticing the profound change that William and Mary begins and Greek life strengthens over four years. This is just one way Greek life is great at William and Mary to demonstrate that togas are more than just fun.
Go Greek (more than To-ga!),
July 18, 2012 by Drew Stelljes
Guest blogger: Taylor Stephens, a junior from Pennsylvania, adds this blog on the value of fraternity life in his development as engaged citizen and leader.
I was recently asked by a faculty member to reflect upon my first year at the College, and the choices I made that allowed me to be successful inside, and outside, the classroom. It was a tough question. As I thought about the question, I realized part of the story is how I ended up at William & Mary, because it was far from a straight path.
In high school, I had convinced myself that I was destined to end up on Wall Street. When it came to apply to schools, I found a mid-sized private college near my home, a little over an hour from New York City, and put all my eggs in one basket. I got in. Through the fall semester, I split my time between business courses, which I didn’t really enjoy, and the “Animal House”-like antics that were thoroughly imbedded in this school’s fraternity culture (which, looking back, I really didn’t enjoy). Over Christmas break I began searching for a new school that offered a liberal arts approach (since I was now major-less), ample opportunities to get involved on campus, and a culture that encouraged a balance between academic pursuits and forging lifelong friendships. In the end, William & Mary seemed to be the only ‘fit’ for me, and I, once again, put all my eggs in one basket. I got in.
Entering the Orientation period, I had completely written off ever joining a fraternity. My past experience reaffirmed all the stereotypes, and I knew I would never be happy in that type of environment. By the third day of orientation, though, I had decided to attend the Meet the Greeks event that happens every year on Yates field. I caved, and went to the event; which I can now recognize as the defining moment of my time at William & Mary. I spoke to members of every fraternity before ending up at the one I “had to meet.” After an hour-long conversation with the Rush Chair, who was also a transfer from a school with a Greek system he did not enjoy, I was invited to join him for dinner. Over the course of one meal I had been invited to play softball the next day, join a Branch-Out International Trip to Haiti in January (another defining experience), and participated in discussions on politics and monetary policy… I was sold.
For me, the support network, encouragement and leadership opportunities a fraternity can provide have made all the difference. Many of my involvements, including serving as Tour Guide and Orientation Leader, spending my January in Haiti with a Branch Out Trip and summer participating in the DC Summer Institute on Leadership and Community Engagement, and even assuming a leadership position within my Greek organization; have all arisen because a brother of mine put me in touch with someone or encouraged me to apply.
Unlike at other schools, Greek life here is something you do, and in no way who you are. That being said, I am incredibly proud of the individuals I have surrounded myself with in my Greek organization, and their many accomplishments around campus and in the Williamsburg community. Among us, members of the Honor Council and Student Senate; two National Champion croquet players; members of political and religious organizations; members of the board of the Mason Investment Fund and other business organizations; leaders of Branch Out trips to Baltimore, rural Virginia and Ecuador; members of 1 in 4 that promote sexual assault prevention on campus; leaders in a capella groups; various club and varsity athletes; the head of volunteering for an off-campus medical clinic; Monroe scholars; countless Tour Guides and Orientation Aides; and many others that I am sure I will be in trouble for forgetting.
So, my answer to this particular faculty member on what had allowed for a successful transition to the College both in and out of the classroom was my fraternity. While I recognize Greek life may not be for everyone, for me it has played a large role in my William & Mary experience, and I am proud of my decision to join.
May 1, 2012 by Laura Manzano
Ah, finals week. I suppose it’s counter-intuitive to be posting now of all times, but it makes sense to me for a couple of reasons:
- Why study when you can write about fun stuff?
- I’m about to begin work on a 5-page paper. Whereas “7” in a Biblical context is considered to be the best number ever (thanks, Christian Origins) “5” has become the number I love to hate, as an English major. Professors throw around five page paper assignments like a scantily clad, feathered woman with heavy eye makeup throws beads on Mardi Gras. Well, where I’m getting at with #2, is that writing this post will get my creative juices flowing, right? Either that or have me on Google images looking at Mardi Gras floats in the form of an androgynous Poseidon.
But either way, for a new blogger, I shamefully haven’t written since my first post over a month ago, and I figure this is as good a time as ever to get my impassioned readership (hey there, Carl) up to speed with my William and Mary life. I’m often hesitant to commit myself to a long narrative in writing for the sake of my absentee attention span, and my tendency to ramble about nothing that is relevant (see, majority of above paragraph). So here is where I transition to a list of transition-less random snippets that highlight the highs and lows of my past month.
- I walked into my Contemporary Literature class last Wednesday about 23 seconds late, and on the projector was a black and white, silent clip playing of a woman taking a shower in super slow motion. I was thoroughly confused for a full minute until I remembered this movie, 24-hour Psycho, was referenced in the novel we were presently studying – Point Omega by Don DeLillo. But anyways, lesson learned: never be late to class, unless you want to be thoroughly confused. Or … just retain the reading you did the night before.
- This past Friday was the last day of classes, equivalent to Christmas in April here at the College. AMP always hosts a really great celebration for most of the afternoon on the Sunken Garden, this year consisting of multiple bouncy structures, a live band, a rock wall, free food, a smoothie bar, and soft grass. A good time was had by all, and I discovered I look good in straw fedoras! Win-win.
- So now that I’m officially inducted into Phi Sigma Pi, the co-ed honors fraternity here on campus, my life has been mostly sunshine and rainbows. Seriously, one of the best decisions I’ve made in my time at this school was rushing PSP. I told my Dad on the phone during the fact, and he reacts: “fraternity?!” I think he was thinking I was some Greek life trailblazer, forging new paths of women being admitted into frats, and perhaps imagining me on the roof of a house in a neon tank top drinking a Natty and flicking roof chips at innocent bystander squirrels. But no, no, Father. This connotation is not one to be upheld by either PSP, or most people and organizations at W&M, really. My freshman year I met a blonde cheerleader who earned a 5 in BC Calc in high school, and at the time loved reading her Comp Sci textbook as much as People magazine. One of my best friends plays the guitar and obsesses over baseball as much as the next bro, but can narrate the entire rise and fall of the Roman empire with his eyes closed. (I guess you don’t really need your eyes to do that, but you know what I’m trying to say.) So, PSP is a fraternity, yes. But I assure you, we don’t call ourselves a “nerd frat” for nothing. And just a general word about stereotypes in the context of William and Mary – I’ve found that they only exist to be broken.
- Finally, I found a Twitter account attributed to President Reveley a bit ago, and I grew excited to have the opportunity to solidify my commitment to Reveley’s army (via Twitter following), but then I was disappointed to find out it was a fake account, but then I was happy again because it’s actually pretty funny. It was an emotional five minutes.
- And speaking of five…
August 21, 2011 by Danny Anderson
If you read my previous post, you already know that recently my friend and I were pondering the best decisions of our life. While my “best” decision came to me immediately, my “second best” took a while. First, I attempted to narrow it down. Because I wanted to choose a decision that was completely mine, I eliminated the majority of my childhood because the people around me influenced those decisions too heavily. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, I just wanted a decision that I could call completely my own.
I struggled to think of this decision; all that came to mind were relatively small decisions. Like joining a new club or deciding to study with a group rather than struggle through material by myself. While many of these decisions were good ones, they weren’t monumental enough for me to rank them as one of my best. And then it hit me. All of these decisions stemmed from the same place, Beta Theta Pi. It took me a while but eventually I realized joining a fraternity was one of the best decisions of my life.
When I first got to William & Mary, I barley knew what Greek life was. I had simply heard stories from my sister about what her sorority sisters were like. So when I went to my first rush event with my freshmen hall mates I was skeptical to say the least. Even after speaking with representatives from the majority of the fraternities I was still uncertain. They all said similar things, “brotherhood is important to us”, “we take ritual seriously”, “we have brothers that do this”, “we have brothers that do that”. Only after going through the pledge process did I understand what being in a fraternity was really about and what they were trying to say during those open houses. It’s something that’s nearly impossible to explain during a short encounter at “Meet the Greeks.”
The aspect that affected me most during my freshmen year was the presence of a support system that had already been through what I was going through. Most of the fraternities are big enough that if you wanted to try something new, chances are, there’s a brother that has either already done it themselves, or knows someone that has. I specifically remember several conversations I have had with older brothers that provided me invaluable advice. I always sort of realized this truth in the back of my mind but it wasn’t until last week that I really began to appreciate it. Last week, I was admitted into a club on campus, one I didn’t know that much about. Because I involved myself in my fraternity, I knew not one, not two, but three people I could call to discuss the pros and cons of joining this club. Having a support system like that during the transition time that is freshmen year is invaluable. My friendships with upperclassmen are some of the most valuable I have, and my fraternity was the catalyst that got them started. So here’s my message to incoming students: don’t be afraid of upperclassmen, they can help you in ways you could never imagine. And don’t worry, we don’t bite.
Another aspect was the friends I made during both the rush and pledge process. I was fortunate enough to have a pledge class composed of some of the greatest guys I have ever met. These are guys that I can talk to about anything and everything, from the zombie apocalypse to the macro-econ final. Although classes are extremely important, these friendships taught me that college is about so much more than just academics. I learned just as much, if not more, from my friends as I did in any classroom. While a class may teach you about calculus or Shakespeare, your friends have the uncanny ability to teach you about yourself. Again, these are friendships I never would have formed if I hadn’t rushed.
Now, don’t get me wrong, William and Mary is definitely NOT a school dominated by Greek life. I have plenty of friends that didn’t rush and chose to remain independent. At W&M, more-so than most schools with Greek life, I feel, that choice is respected by the Greek community, rather than looked down upon. I view Greek life at William and Mary as an incredible resource that can really help you through your four years here, the choice of whether or not to use it is up to you.
My fraternity helped me in nearly every aspect of my freshmen year. It helped me in my academics, athletics (Intramural sports anyone?), extracurriculars and social life. I can honestly say that the vast majority of the good things about my freshmen year stemmed from my membership in a fraternity. My summarizing advice to you: if you’re even slightly considering rushing, come out and listen to us attempt the impossible and explain what it’s all about.
May 20, 2011 by Admit It!
Admit It! You know that W&M admission stats are pretty impressive. Our middle 50% SAT range, the number of enrolling valedictorians and salutatorians, the small percent of admits…they all imply that our entering students are pretty darn smart. Our entering students are also always colorful. Each spring, we compile what we call a colorful profile; a list of interesting quirks, accomplishments and character traits derived from those who applied and were admitted early decision. It’s a preview of what’s to come from the newest entering class.
Colorful Profile for Class of 2011 based on information provided in their admission applications
- A real estate appraiser
- A banjo player
- A collector of antique phonographs
- A locomotive engine racer
- A woman’s lacrosse player featured in Sports Illustrated and a men’s lacrosse player who had a patent pending for an adjustable-length, telescopic lacrosse stick
- A student who held to the dictates of her heart and founded an organization that raised $40,000 for breast cancer research, and another student who literally held someone else’s heart during bypass surgery
- A student who runs a 4:11 mile, and a student who took the time to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro
- A student who published an article in Teen Ink and a student who submitted a film to Sundance
- The female captain of a men’s golf team, the organizer of a touch football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and his school faculty, and the only student member of the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Character Education Taskforce
The Class of 2011 graduated this past Sunday. Approximately 1500 students strong; they have accomplished much in their time at the College. They were the fourth class I helped to admit and, the fourth class I saw from beginning to end, the first class for which I oversaw all of our tour guides, and my seventh class of Senior Interviewers. In this class were Hays Watkins and Chloe Lewis, two students I remember meeting during my recruitment trip to Chicago in the fall of 2006. Both made an indelible impression on me. I read both of their applications, which I remember to this day 4.5 years and nearly 10,000 additional applications read later. Both became tour guides. Also in this class, Joe Quinn, whose parents and sister attend W&M (his sister was a tour guide and Senior Interviewer). He just completed a 200+ page honors thesis for his Geology major. Another graduating student: Nick Velleman; a young man with more swagger than anyone I know. As chair of Alma Mater Production’s Music Committee, Nick was instrumental (if you pardon the pun) in bringing The Roots to campus for the inaugural Charter Day concert. Natty Montoya and Casey Sears will be leaving campus to impact our future students; both will be working as teachers next year. Evette Becker sang her heart out as a student in one of our a capella groups. Blair Saunders will be going to South Africa at the end of the summer to continue her research in African history (a scholarly passion she developed as the result of a course she randomly registered for to complete a major requirement). Imad Matini leaves behind a legacy as the outgoing president of his fraternity (the same fraternity my husband was in by the way). Adam Harris has spearheaded efforts for Branch Out international service trips helping to make W&M among the top schools in the country for alternative breaks. Jenn Addison spent a semester in Jordan honing her Arabic skills, Noelle DuVall spent several semesters in a neuroscience research lab preparing her for a future career in scientific discovery. JB Akbar continued to promote the I am William & Mary campaign as the Undersecretary for Diversity and Brian Focarino who helped lead an effort to have the highest percentage of giving ever for a senior class gift. And these are just some of the students I know personally.
Andrew Squires just co-authored a book, Ariana Berger was selected for the prestigious Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals, Kate Ottolini was honored by the Association for Teacher Educators for her research on teacher prep, Kalyani Phansalker has performed in professional dance shows and was this year’s Commencement speaker, the list only gets more colorful.
So congratulations Class of 2011! In the immortal words of Elle Woods “[you] did it!”
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Senior Assistant Dean of Admission