Want to know a fun fact about me? W&M’s Chief Police Officer, Deb Cheesbro, is my mentor. When I got lunch with her for the first time, I was star struck. Yeah, I know the people in my life are WAY cooler than me. I am a part of the William & Mary Women’s Mentoring program. This program connects undergraduate women with faculty and staff at W&M in order to foster women’s flourishing. I meet with the chief every few weeks for coffee or lunch. We talk about women in the workplace and balancing our busy schedules. I have to admit, I feel very special. The Chief has endless meetings, yet she still stakes time out of her very busy schedule to mentor me.
Sometimes (no, ALL of the time) I am in awe of the powerhouse women at W&M. Our community is filled with such incredible women who inspire me to break the glass ceiling and to challenge the status quo. We have women here who are building libraries in Ghana, others who are researching cellphones and women empowerment in Tanzania, and more who are doing cutting-edge research in Chemistry. Some of my friends who graduated are in law school and medical school and others are a part of Teach for America and AmeriCorps. The ways women are contributing to this campus is breathtaking. Many women here are presidents of student organizations, social activists, yoga instructors and directors of musicals.
Twenty-four women enrolled at W&M in the fall of 1918. Image Courtesy of University Archives, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library
Celebrating the past
I am humbled to be a part of the Tribe. During homecoming a few weeks ago, I talked to Alumnae who graduated and went on to become lawyers, businesswomen and teachers. Even after their time at W&M, they are still empowering women and chipping away at the glass ceiling. In the 2018-2019 academic year, W&M will celebrate 100 years of coeducation. I am excited to celebrate, along with the other incredible women, the legacy of women at W&M.
I am excited to celebrate coeducation (100 years later) with these incredible women.