It all began innocently enough five years ago when the first crop of Senior Admission Interns/Interviewers challenged the admission dean staff to a game of kickball. Believing that youth equated to superiority, the naive interns were confident in their ability to defeat what they believed to be an aging dean staff (the median age of the dean staff at the time was 28 by the way). Five years ago, on Bush field, the dean staff taught the interns a hard lesson about neither underestimating nor disrespecting their elders. That day was the first dean staff kickball victory and last night we made it a Five-peat; that’s right, 5 and 0 baby…we are undefeated.
In all seriousness however (not that we don’t take kickball and our undefeated status seriously) this annual kickball game also showcases the essence of the William & Mary community; a community without heirarchy, without consciousness of status or title, but rather a community of people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company and a community of people with a great deal of creativity, humor, and heart.
If you had been at the Sunken Garden on July 30 from 5:30-7:00 you would have seen a group of 11 eager interns, clad in matching homemade jerseys (read: t-shirts), and bandanas. You would have seen them run onto the field together, arm in arm. You would have seen them warming up and huddling together for a last-minute strategy meeting. You would have seen a veterans-of-the-game dean staff practicing their honed skills and greeting their families who had come to cheer them on. You would have heard trash talk coming from both sides…and a great deal of laughter. You would have seen a victorious dean staff shakes the hand of each intern and a defeated intern team rally for a second game…always cheering each other on.
After the game, both teams gathered at the Green Leafe, a local watering hole, for victory speeches, concession toasts, good food, good drink, and good company. We were the sweatiest, most tired, most motly crew in there but we were also the group having the most fun.
Where else will you find a group of 11 seniors create a video challenge to challenge their superiors to a game most people haven’t played since fourth grade? Where else can you find an office that celebrates its interns marching around the office blaring We Will Rock You doing the two-stomp-one-clap dance during the workday in preparation for the on-field battle? Where else will you see the Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment nail a home run after work in the 100-degree heat? Where else would you see the interns tell one of their bosses “Pitcher has a big butt” the day before pay checks are approved? And where else would the Dean of Admission treat all of his colleagues and interns to dinner and drinks after the rousing kickball match (he figured this way only fair given we had crushed their spirit only a few minutes earlier)? This is not the exception at the College, it’s the rule. At William & Mary the people and the community they form are at the heart of the institution.
– Wendy Livingston