Tonight, our group met with alumni at the William and Mary DC office to have an informal conversation over dinner. The alumni have worked with communities from Boston to Thailand…. Honduras to DC to the Dominican Republic. They have addressed issues ranging from human trafficking prevention to community development… educational inequality to corporate social responsibility.
But there was something that connected them all to us… and made us feel somehow less… well… intimidated.
What amazed me so much about the evening was the complete sense of selflessness. No one was there to further their agenda or to brag about there accomplishments. We were all there to ask questions, to share resources, to learn. All of the alumni were so giving of their knowledge and gave us their contact information… encouraging us to contact them with ANY and ALL questions. They reminded us that they were once in our shoes… and that they were so happy to pass along the lessons they have learned along the way. They reminded us of how the William and Mary network is vibrant and well… especially for those working in fields that address issues of social justice and social change.
The main theme I noticed was how William and Mary cultivates a sense of passion and responsibility in its students. None of us could quite figure out exactly how or when that happened for us as individuals… but we realized that the network of individuals passionate about social justice was ever present in all of our experiences at the College.
We were a group of individuals, Classes of 2002-2014 (and Drew… who graduated with TJ… just kidding) all united by a common bond. The tangible sense of William and Mary tradition was ever so clear.
The evening ended fittingly with a singing of the Alma Mater… a tangible (and, yes, kind of dorky) reminder of the bond we share.