We Admit It! We think W&M is a pretty special place (not that we’re biased or anything). There are so many ways in which that’s demonstrated. Many are obvious (the traditions that celebrate our storied history, the size, the commitment of faculty, the residential campus) and some are less so. One of those less obvious ways is one of the many W&M traditions you won’t hear about on the tour. And that’s the knock-down, drag-out, trash-talk-filled kickball grudge match that takes place each summer between our Senior Interviewers and our Admission Deans.
Picture this: it’s a hot, and without fail, unbearably humid summer afternoon. The entire W&M Admission Committee, led intrepidly by our Associate Provost for Enrollment/Dean of Admission, walk nonchalantly to the majestic Sunken Garden. There, we warm up (the only practice we honestly need – if you doubt us, just check the overall win-loss record, Deans: 8, Interviewers: 3). As we do so, a motley group of 14 W&M seniors (generally clad in some form of “uniform” – and we use the term loosely as uniform usually entails matching t-shirts and sweatbands) sashay onto the same field in what usually amounts to a hastily-thrown-together but ultimately hilarious coordinated entrance. And for the next six innings, the Game. Is. On. When it’s all over (and the deans have once again proven their dominance), we all head out to dinner together at one of the nearby campus haunts.
Many universities have great traditions. And many universities have great people. But we’re not sure you could find the Dean of Admission sweating his you-know-what off during a game of kickball with a bunch of current students at most other campuses. What we think kickball illustrates (beyond of course the mad skills of W&M’s Admission staff) is the true-to-life William & Mary community. Whether it’s faculty, whether it’s administrators, whether it’s staff or whether it’s students, this is not a place of barriers (just check out this year’s group of Senior Interviewers taking the casual photo with President Reveley).
2015 Senior Admission Interviewers take a quick pic with President Reveley
This is not a place of rigid formality. This is a place that celebrates its own and mixes and mingles across traditional boundaries to form a truly cohesive and collegial community. This is a place where serious things happen, but where we don’t take ourselves too seriously. And this is a place where lifelong friendships are formed in the least expected of places (such as a quad turned kickball field for the afternoon).
So as you learn more about W&M, and you delve into our beautiful campus, our esteemed faculty, our innovative curriculum, and our rich history, remember that the Deans vs Interviewers kickball game is just one of hundreds of examples of what makes this place truly one of a kind. And also remember, you are allowed only one base on an overthrow.
Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission