Traditions and Events
August 8, 2013 by Madelyn Smith
In 1904 James Southall Wilson wrote the Alma Mater of the College. Directly translated to “nourishing mother”, this hymn represents all that has been, is, and is yet to come for William & Mary and the Class of 2013! Tomorrow morning when your name is called and you step up on stage to receive your diploma, you will become alumni of the college. You too, will join in the thousands of students who have taken William & Mary as their Alma Mater.
Hark! The students’ voices swelling echoing through Lake Matoaka, down DOG Street, across the Botetourt Complex, out the windows of Wren and around William & Mary Hall.
Strong and true and clear they share stories of years gone by – memories of Convocation, Homecoming, Charter day and LDOC.
Alma Mater’s love they’re telling with a knowing that these memories will live on in the legacy they will leave behind in the bricks that make up old campus and the tradition that flows throughout the College.
Ringing far and near a resounding spirit of accomplishment for the Class of 2013!
William & Mary loved of old you’ve given us the gift of a strong mind and a community that will never be broken.
Hark upon the gale for the knowledge inspired in us by those who believe in the possibilities our lives represent. Praise for the times our internal chains were shattered and our definition of truth was challenged. Praise for new perceptions formed on the basis of this rich and fulfilling education.
Hear the thunder of our chorus prevailing on despite the trials, conquering that last exam, staying up all night to study and confronting challenges we all have faced.
Alma Mater – Hail for this place we now call, home.
God, our Father, hear our voices as we ask why Anna B. Martin didn’t cancel school that day and what President Reveley actually meant when he said “succulent stories”.
Listen to our cry of rejoice and merriment as we celebrate the last four years gone by, knowing that our next step into a world will continue to mold us, shape us and grow us.
Bless the College of our fathers for the endless moments on this campus that will live on in our souls.
Each one of us equipped with unique insights and a special story, a story written here. This time, a chapter, in the book of life that will last throughout the years. The pages might wilt and the ink might fade, but this chapter will remain. Crisp fall days in the Sunken Garden. WaWa runs. Swem moments. Office hours. Research. Athletics. Concerts. Dances…Sketched on the page and locked in your heart. If ever should you feel alone, remember the Alma Mater of the nation in this place forever home.
Let her never die for in each of us lives the spirit of the Alma Mater, a knowing that William & Mary in our hearts will forever reside…
July 30, 2013 by Admit It!
We Admit It! We enjoy the lead-up to the annual deans vs. Senior Interviewers kickball match. We enjoy winning the match even more (which this year we did – for those of you keeping score at home that brings the deans’ all-time record to 7-3). What we really enjoy however is the camaraderie of good colleagues and friends. Kickball is a good time; a really good time. And it’s a great example of the sense of community that exists on the W&M campus.
Community is a W&M buzz word. It’s why students and staff love being a part of this campus. There’s a sense of belonging here, of friendship, of support for one another. On this campus we bring together a wonderfully diverse, intelligent, talented, thoughtful, engaged, truly nice group of people who care about something greater than themselves and who are eager to participate in all that W&M has to offer. This sense of community pervades all aspects of campus from the top administrators to the newest students on campus. It’s a community that takes what it does seriously, but doesn’t take itself too seriously (as evidenced by last week’s kickball antics). It’s a community that lacks traditional hierarchy, boundaries and cliques. The annual deans vs. Senior Interviewers kickball match is a small but important symbol of what the W&M community is all about: good people having a great time on an amazing campus.
And one more time for good measure, #teamdeans = victorious!
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission
July 24, 2013 by Admit It!
We Admit It! We kind of look forward to what each part of the escalated kickball challenge will bring. Yesterday, we found more cupcakes with another premature declaration of victory (to which we of course responded). Not sure why this particular group of Senior Interviewers has such an affinity for baked goods (they claim that they’re trying to fatten us up).
After lunch today, we each found what is supposed to be an intimidating note about our impending metaphorical death taped to our office doors. Each note was tailored to that individual dean’s interests, hobbies or connection to the Senior Interviewers.
But hey Senior Interviewers, this isn’t the deans’ first time at the dance. We’ve done this kickball thing nine times already (with 6 wins nonetheless), and nothing scares or intimidates us. We are ready for tomorrow. So bring it on. And dear readers, please remember to cheer us on. #teamdeans
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission
July 22, 2013 by Admit It!
Admit It! You might have thought our last blog about the upcoming Deans vs. Senior Interviewers kickball challenge was a bit of exaggeration. We promise you it was not. Today, the official challenge was issued. The Jack-O-Linterns are in the house and have their game face on.
The deans, no strangers to half-hearted attempts at intimidation, responded in kind. Not only did we eat their home-made cupcakes, we left an intimidating message of our own.
Now we just wait and see what the Jack-O-Linterns do next. Although regardless of any additional baked goods, messages or attempts at intimidation, we all know that victory is determined on the playing field.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission
July 19, 2013 by Admit It!
We Admit It! W&M people get pretty excited about traditions. In the Admission Office specifically, we get pretty amped up about our annual Senior Interviewers vs. Admission Staff kickball game. Ten summers ago, on a random trip to K-Mart, a Senior Interviewer found a kickball for sale (you know, the legitimate, big, red, reminds-you-of-the-elementary-school-playground kickball) and bought it. She then suggested a “friendly” game of interns vs. deans. And a tradition was born.
Every summer since, on what is inevitably the hottest day of the year, the Senior Interviewers and the admission deans gather in the Sunken Garden for a no-holds-barred, fight-to-the-death, all-in-good-fun grudge match. This year’s date has been set: Thursday, July 25. T-minus six days and counting. We expect the official gauntlet to be thrown by this year’s Senior Interviewers next week (stay tuned as this blog will update you as we lead up to the game itself). We also expect them to lose (hey, they may be younger, but we the deans have experience on our side). We’re not 6 and 3 for nothing.
Kickball is an example of the William & Mary spirit at its finest: work hard/play hard, take what we do seriously, but not ourselves too seriously, a community of diverse people enjoying each other’s company and camaraderie.
The trash talk is on. The strategy is being set. Now we just await the game.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission
May 22, 2013 by Arvin Alaigh
My name is Arvin Alaigh and I am the resident W&M in DC blogger for the Leadership & Community Engagement Institute. I am a rising junior majoring in Government and American Studies and minoring in Philosophy, and I hail from the beautiful state of New Jersey. My hobbies consist of watching of TV shows, primarily The OC, House of Cards, and Game of Thrones. I also love Buffalo Wild Wings, making music, playing/watching basketball, and studying Roman history. Current events are cool, too. On campus, I am involved in AMP Music, Campus Radio, the International Relations Club, and research with the Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations.
I try to be funny but it’s not really successful most of the time, but it’s okay. I’m over it. In the words of the illustrious Aubrey “Drake” Graham in the 2010 hit “Over” off his debut album Thank Me Later, “I’m doing me”.
Monday, May 13 marked the first day in a 12-week long journey for the thirteen selected Leadership & Community Engagement fellows. This Monday morning, we were greeted by the normal, weekday morning Washington DC metro traffic en route to the DC office. This marked the first time I had ever commuted within a big city, let alone during rush hour. It began by paying an exorbitant amount of money – about five dollars round-trip – for what turned out to be a roughly eleven-minute train ride. While on the train, I had the pleasure of losing my bearings on several occasions, getting tossed around by the turbulent ride like a pinball as we approached each stop. It was exhilarating, to say the least. Upon exiting the train-car, I held up about six commuters behind me as I struggled to find the location of the ticket-scanner. In the words of the fabulous Sarah Adler, I fully embodied the “Metro-noob” stereotype, which undoubtedly ran rampant among my fellow out-of-state peers. All in all, I could not have been happier having truly received the delightful “first-time-commuting-in-DC” experience.
About an hour and fifteen minutes after leaving our Arlington apartments, our group of about twenty fellows finally arrived at the promised land: the William & Mary Washington Office. An eclectic array of sandwiches and pastries were provided for lunch, which was certainly a nice touch. Our group orientation followed, lasting roughly three hours, and detailed the logistics of the DC program at great length. The topics discussed were diverse in nature, ranging from practical tips about safety in DC, and networking at site visits, to seemingly bizarre advice regarding emergency protocol in the event of nuclear attack. We broke off into our smaller institutes at about 4:00, and for the first time, all 13 fellows, as well as Professor Drew Stelljes and our wonderful TA, Maggie Scott, met together as a group.
Individually, all thirteen fellows hail from diverse backgrounds, both in our personal and collegiate lives. Yet, we are all united under the common goal of affecting positive change within the community. This is essentially the goal of the Leadership & Community Engagement course – to better understand our goals and ourselves as leaders within our respective communities. While we are not assigned copious amounts of reading and writing assignments, I wholeheartedly maintain that our work is still toiling, but in a different nature than the typical William & Mary class. Self-reflection is our major mode of assessment, but it is difficult to operationalize something as abstract and personal as self-reflection; nevertheless, Drew does an excellent job in ensuring we have mulled over concepts discussed in class, as well as encouraging us to think outside the box when dealing with and studying leaders. We have tremendous chemistry as a group, which is especially beneficial for fostering thoughtful discussion within the classroom environment.
Despite my seemingly inauspicious start, which manifested itself in a multitude of misfortunes, I believe that the past week and a half have been more enriching and thought-provoking than I ever could have imagined. I am proud to say that I eventually mastered the art of the Metro, and I now scoff at the Metro-noobs who clog up escalators and/or hold up lines – although, I must admit that a little part of me does commiserate with them as I fondly recollect my first days as an inept, confused commuter. Overall, I am certainly looking forward to the ensuing weeks and adventures to come, and I certainly look forward to documenting them!
May 16, 2013 by Ariana Guy
Hello! My name is Ariana Guy and I am a rising senior at the College of William & Mary, majoring in Government with a minor in French Studies. I am the blogger for the William & Mary D.C. Summer Institute for National Security because I enjoy writing and am incredibly excited to document everything this program has planned for us students.
A mere four days after leaving the hallowed grounds of William & Mary, I set off to Washington D.C. for the National Security Summer Institute. Yes, I was still tired and slightly muddled – thanks to two intense weeks of finals; however, once the Washington Monument came into view from my car window, I smiled in delight as I came to realize that this summer would be filled with unforgettable sights, people, and experiences. After moving into my luxurious Buchanan apartment – complete with five friendly roommates – my parents and I set off to explore the Crystal City area. I was most excited to see a Chick-fil-A no more than one street over from the apartment building, along with a Coldstone Creamery, Corner Bakery and a Starbucks (of course). There were a myriad of other restaurants and attractions; but this is a blog, not a travel guide – thus, I shall act accordingly.
Looking at the syllabus for the first day of the National Security Institute, I saw that we were going to spend a large amount of time getting introduced to the program and start our course on national security – taught by the very knowledgeable and D.C.-savvy, Professor Kay Floyd. After our academic discussion, I then read that we would be meeting the directors and engaging in a private viewing of the film, Ghost Army. I could see that it was going to be a full day, so I went to bed at a reasonable hour, eager to find out what the next day would bring.
Upcoming blogs will showcase different students each time, giving every National Security Fellow the opportunity to describe a specific event or speaker. I will be adding the names of these contributors at the end of each blog.
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.)
May 13, 2013 by Anne Charity Hudley
Dear Class of 2013 and those who love and support you,
I am so honored to have been asked to speak to you tonight on behalf of my faculty colleagues. This weekend is filled with such joy and celebration of your accomplishments—all that you have achieved leading up to and during your years here. I speak on behalf of the entire faculty when I say to you, “you are fabulous!”
You will get asked a lot of questions this weekend and in the weeks to come. Questions about your degree, your future plans, probably even your final GPA; did you graduate summa cum, laude, magna cum laude or thank you laude.
Rightly so—most of the weekend focuses on what you have accomplished: undergraduate and graduate degrees, achievements in departments and programs and your activities, which are too numerous to mention. And I am all for celebrating your achievements. You’ve attended a tough yet wonderful college during a tough yet wonderful time in history and came out ahead! So since for most of the weekend, we’re going to celebrate your achievements, I’m a take five minutes here and celebrate from a slightly different angle—I’m a celebrate you! Just you—who you are—and who you will become. For the next few minutes, you are you and not your major, your degree, you are not your class year, you not even your future plans.
If you want to know what I’ve done, (Why she up there?) Google it up. Instead, I’ll tell you a little bit about who I am.
Who am I—I am on Route 5 through open fields trying not to get a ticket—I’m the gal whose breath is taken away every time she sees her husband walk out in a suit and tie on to Ukrop Drive through those fancy Mason School of Business doors! I’m trying to think of everything that I and the College of William & Mary didn’t get to do to support you during your time here that I can get right with the class of 2017—help me with that. I’m on a journey to make sure everyone is included here — in this place, so that I can walk around the Wren building just smiling.
So who are you, class of 2013? To me, that’s the most awesome part.
In many senses you will always be the you who you were when you first were here — several years younger, running through the Sunken Garden, I hope with your clothes on.
You are fun nights at the Delis before some of you moved over to the Crust. You are forever the one who played hooky and rode the Verbolten or the one who spent 20 hours straight in Swem.
You are rugby rough and community research strong, you are cheering football teams on and sad people up, you are driving classmates you didn’t know before home through Hurricane Irene just because someone emailed and asked you to.
You are on all sides of political activism with passion and intellect.
You are Virginia’s promise, New Jersey’s dream, China’s spirit, part of the TJ posse, and that one kid to make it here from your hometown—ever!
You are somebody’s sibling—either by blood or oath or hope.
You are about to give your mother her best mother’s day ever—even if she can’t be here with you or if you’ve never even met her—even if she is a he.
Some of you are fashion plates and some of you have had on the same sweat pants for 4 years or 8.
But OH MY GOODNESS—I can’t wait to see WHO you will become!
I spend my spare time with my students and have no shame about it. Why? Because each of you is an individual masterpiece. And that’s what makes what I do intertwine with who I am (someone who will be here years from now happy to see you on your return, no matter if you knew me before just now or not.)
A couple of things to think about as you are becoming, you—post-graduation style:
- You could become someone who cleans up your social media. Cuz you know some of that confession stuff ain’t gone look so cute in a year or two. Because who you are is likely to be slightly different and context can be everything. And if it isn’t, share on—do you, boo boo!
- You could become someone who still always takes time to write a few thank you notes. It is amazing to be someone who takes that minute and they mean so much.
- You can become someone who continues to make friends in your class even after tomorrow- you’re gonna meet new people because of where you’re standing or what names are on the chairs in W&M Hall and in your department ceremonies! Say hi all eager like you did in Orientation 2009! It’s not too late! That person may be headed to your new town, or interested in the same type of music, or job as you.
- You can be someone – who even if you don’t care for W&M as a monolith who love the people affiliated with W&M individually – the students who come after you are desperately looking to you for advice and glimpses of what their dreams may look like realized. You can become someone who walks out of here tomorrow never to return or you can become someone who doesn’t miss a reunion or homecoming and either way I hope you’ll connect with the students – come guest lecture, speak at events in your old organizations, Skype with someone from around your way who has a dream of making it to William & Mary— make it a time and a priority commitment.
I’m becoming someone right now because of who my grandmother was that wasn’t even legally possible at the time of her dream. And in turn, the spirit of my grandmother has become the grandmother of a granddaughter who is giving this talk and the grandmother of a grandson who is graduating from here tomorrow. I can think of no better example of the fact that who you will become may actually take generations.
So honestly, there are no words for who we are in moments such as these. For those times when the who and the what are indistinguishable—our ancestors live again and the future is written. And that’s the true definition of swagga.
We’re doing our best tonight to honor that privilege and experience tonight through your triumph, some silence, and flames.
May 10, 2013 by Madelyn Smith
I walked towards the banner today. Slowly, watching it grow larger as I approached from the distance. The last time I saw this banner was four years ago…
The day was hot and muggy. We were all decked out in our preppy attire eager for the grand convocation welcome, and exhausted from a week of orientation. I remember sitting there next to the girls of Spotswood Third Upper day-dreaming about the next four years of college; the adventures, college parties, clubs and organizations that I would join, when all of the sudden the president took the podium. I vaguely remember what he said, other than a resounding welcome for the Class of 2013. What I remember is the faces of the students around me. Excited and smiling, faces full of wonderment and curiosity of what the next four years would bring. A few of us in the row squeezed hands as he acknowledged the bond between the freshman hall and how these friendships lasted a lifetime. It sprinkled rain at one point, but no one seemed to care; we were the class of 2013 and NOTHING could take us down! As the ceremony came to a close there was an overwhelming roar of cheers from the Class of 2013. However, when the crowd quieted down the noise didn’t stop. Somewhat confused my fellow classmates and I looked at one another and shrugged, maybe our ears were playing tricks on us? The next thing we knew the doors to the Wren building flew open and on the other side of the building one could see the heads of hundreds of students all shouting and cheering. Never in my life have I felt so loved and welcomed. One by one each freshman passed through the building and walked out into a sea of upperclassmen smiling, waiting to greet us. The year 2013 a distant thought, it seemed nearly impossible to imagine.
Four years later I walked towards the banner. I smiled thinking how fast this time has gone, and how grateful I am for the many moments here. As is normal these days, I smiled and then I burst into tears… There is no way to put into words the emotions of Commencement. Four years of dedication, hard work and persistence and then, like that, it’s over. Underclassmen, treasure it. It truly does go by fast.
As I looked at the banner hanging above the door to The Wren Hall I couldn’t help but think of the diversity in the Class of 2013. Listening to the ambitions and dreams of my fellow classmates over the past few weeks has been a humbling experience. Nonprofits, business corporations, private entities – you name it, we’re doing it. Our class boasts some of the best and brightest in the nation, yet they are humble and driven by a desire to do good in this world. I could not be more proud to be a member of this remarkable group of individuals.
Sunday morning we will walk under the banner once again. This time, a more solemn tone, but a celebratory walk nonetheless. To the Class of 2013, WE DID IT! I hope each of you will walk with your head high and your heart beaming knowing that you are a part of something bigger than yourself, you are a part of the Class of 2013 and the College of William & Mary!