I feel like Carrie Bradshaw right now when she reflects upon her most recent actions and writes about it to tell the world. Except here, I write to you – my fellow tribe members and potential tribe members – about my experiences that the tribe has opened up to me. Tonight, however, I am writing to tell you about the friendships and bonds that this campus, full of uneven bricks, old and ancient buildings, is full of. Today, is the 320th anniversary of William & Mary’s charter and cheers to another 320 more!
Taylor Nelson, a wonderful human being that I’ve gotten to know personally was given the prestigious James Monroe award for Civic Engagement and this is a small congratulations to her well deserving it! (Congrats!) Along with Taylor, other very deserving and impeccable individuals received honors at the ceremony and I would highly recommend celebrating our college’s birthday every opportunity you can, especially if you haven’t gone yet!
Being a part of this campus means more than simply going to classes or attending ceremonies, it means being an active member of the tribe and enjoying your tribe and my tribe’s company. On these bricks we’ve tripped together and in these dorms we’ve lived amongst one another. We’ve walked into the Wren Building and at some point we will all walk out. The journey started the day we all started orientation, and we might forget that life at the College is still a journey right now. Whether you believe it or not, it doesn’t even end when we graduate! Tribe means more than family, though I guess some of us could be – figuratively speaking – distant cousins or long lost relatives. Seeing someone else showing tribe pride outside of the campus bubble may (someday) excite you (…if it doesn’t already). It sure does for me and it definitely does to the old couple I met when I traveled to Yorktown, VA. Last week, fellow tribe member Nicole Brown ’13 and I went out to dinner off campus and ended up running into a sweet elderly couple who mentioned they both went to William & Mary ages ago when tuition was under $500 (hard to believe, right?) and we told them that we were current students and upon hearing this, the sweet and polite conversation became a lively and ecstatic one. The couple proceeded to explain in a very excited manner that they had sent all three of their children to the College as well. So I guess for some, tribe literally does mean family!
It’s the bonds you build and the bonds you share that make you who you are. And if you look close enough, or travel to the right areas, you will see and understand that this campus is rich with bonds that last a lifetime, impacting lives for the better, and it is because of us … because of the smart, genuinely caring, giving, and engaged individuals that are so typically found at William & Mary … because of you. I understand that the 320th Charter Day anniversary of our school is representative of when we received our charter, but personally prefer to think of it as the anniversary of how long this school has built bonds for. Invisible bonds that have educated many, created lasting friendships, and bonds that have built the Tribe we know today rooted in a deep history.