A Colorful Class

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

Categories: Academics, Admission, Campus Life, Charter Day, Commencement, Community Engagement & Service, Diversity, Faculty & Staff Blogs, Greek Life, Research, Student Clubs & Orgs, Study Away, Traditions & Events
1 Comment
  1. Eric

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