Hometown/State: Chevy Chase, Maryland
Intended Major: Business Administration
Why did you decide to attend Washington and Lee?
The list of reasons why I love my school could go on for pages, but ultimately I chose Washington and Lee for its people. Any visitor in Lexington can spot a W&L student from a mile away: smiling, outgoing, happy. My classmates, dorm mates, and friends are ambitious without being cutthroat, social without being reckless, academic without being "nerdy", and, most importantly, honorable. Some people, including me at first, have doubts about attending a college with only 1,700 students. I challenge anyone to find another school on earth with 1,700 people who fit the criteria of a W&L student- there isn't one.
What about W&L excites you the most?
After attending a high school where cheating was the norm for a majority of my classmates, I was thrilled and relieved to attend a university with other young men and women who care about honor as much as I do. Our exams are not proctored, our rooms unlocked, and our words are not questioned; it is a privilege to be a part of a community so centered on trust.
What is your proudest accomplishment thus far?
Although I take great pride in my work, I believe that relationships are the most valuable thing in life. My proudest accomplishment is my close relationship with my younger sister, Campbell. We have been best friends our whole lives. By making our friendship a priority, we have remained close despite living three hours apart over the school year.
How did you hear about W&L and the Johnson Scholarship program?
Living in the Washington Metropolitan Area, I have known Washington & Lee alumni my whole life. One of my father's friends, an alumnus of W&L, told me about Mr. Johnson's generous endowment when I mentioned my interest in Washington & Lee.
What was your impression of campus when you visited for the competition?
I had visited W&L twice before the competition. Each time I was struck by Lexington's natural beauty, the well manicured campus, and the friendly, happy, pulled-together W&L students. Anyone who has visited as many schools as I knows these three characteristics do not describe the average student on a college campus.
What will the Johnson Scholarship do for you?
The Johnson Scholarship is a terrific opportunity, the full extent of which I cannot yet foresee.
How are you going to take advantage of your time at W&L?
At W&L I can major in business, while taking a broad range of other courses taught by professors, not TAs. It is exciting to be taught by a professor who is passionate about his work and his students; in my first year I especially enjoyed Professor Novack's "Deviance", Keen's "The Novel", and Macdonald's "Art in Business". I am taking advantage of W&L's small, liberal arts environment by exploring subjects and concepts I would not have access to in a large university business program.
What will you contribute to campus as a Johnson Scholar?
As a Johnson scholar I am no different from any other W&L student. At Washington & Lee I feel surrounded by true peers- young men and women who are intellectual, ambitious, and fun loving. As a member of the W&L community I contribute a willingness to lead and to work hard for causes that I care about.
What's unique about you?
I rarely repeat the same mistake twice. I take criticism and praise to heart, and reflect on everything that happens to me. I am unique because I live without regrets, and accept that each error makes me wiser.
What inspires you?
Talent and passion: people who are good at what they do and take pride in their work inspire me. Through classes and extracurricular activities at W&L I hope to discover my own passion.
Name one thing you love or love doing.
I love physical activity. There is nothing that clears my head, eases stress, or makes me feel better than daily exercise. I have been happier and healthier since I made it part of my routine.
What's your favorite place?
My favorite place on earth is Washington, DC. I feel blessed to have grown up in a city at the junction of north and south, a city with seasons and culture. I love our nation's capital because it is sophisticated but not pretentious, historic yet modern, and diverse but wholly American.
Which leader do you most admire, and why?
As a waitress this summer, I observed multiple leadership styles in the restaurant management. Although the upper management (the owner, the comptroller) intimidated me because they were unfriendly, I did not respect them and felt no desire to go beyond the basic duties of my job for them. All four of the general managers were very likeable. One of them was so laid-back, however, that he came across as a lazy pushover. Another was friendly and quick to smile, but his inexperience and lack of basic restaurant knowledge made him difficult to look up to as a leader. A third manager was flawed by her painfully slow problem-solving ability. Despite these disappointments, I was inspired by the quick, knowledgeable, personable, and flexible leadership of a fourth manager. By observing positive and negative qualities of my leaders, I learned how to be an effective and accountable leader myself.
Why does leadership matter?
As my college courses, extracurricular activities, and summer employment increasingly require teamwork, I become aware of the importance of leadership. Even in the perfect team of well-qualified, motivated, and industrious people, a good leader is essential to deal with the problems that arise from human nature: frustration, low morale, jealousy, greed, and difference of opinion. The best leaders are impartial peacemakers who treat all teammates as equals, but command the respect and trust necessary to make decisions for the whole team. Strong leadership provides essential direction, mediation, and encouragement for a team.
Why does integrity matter?
The world runs more smoothly when people can trust each other. The result of a community that places value on integrity is found at W&L where students can feel safe leaving their possessions in public places, professors can treat their students like adults and not hover distrustfully over them, and peers can take each other's word at face value. A world with honesty is one that is more convenient, safe, and comfortable.
What is your intended career?
After the various group projects and jobs I have held, I realize that I crave the ability to lead and control the high quality of work done. I know that I will not be satisfied until I am able to go into business for myself. I am fascinated by advertising, public relations, and marketing, as they combine my loves of business, communication, and design. Through a broad liberal arts education at W&L, and summer internships made possible by the Kemper Scholars Program, I plan on exploring my intellectual and career interests to narrow down an industry in which to be an entrepreneur.
What are some of your goals for your W&L career?
-Pursue entrepreneurship. Before I graduate, I hope to identify an intellectually fulfilling and personally enjoyable line of work in which I could start my own business.
-Take a variety of challenging classes and maintain a high quality of work.
-Take on campus leadership positions in clubs and activities that inspire me.
-Find an outlet through which I can best use my organizational talents and strong work ethic to serve others.
-Make meaningful, long-lived relationships with the wonderful people I meet at W&L, whether with fellow students or professors. Be a loyal friend.
-Read for pleasure and exercise routinely to stay in mental and physical shape.
Where will you be in 5 years and what will you be doing?
In five years, at the age of twenty-four, I plan to be the head of my own small business, living in either Washington, DC or Chicago, and keeping in touch with my friends from W&L!