The Columns

A genuine General: Jordan LaPointe ‘17 LaPointe, who says his personal motto is “being genuine goes a long way,” is a world traveler, professional debater, and Johnson Scholar.

— by on April 14th, 2017

“Many Johnson scholars, including me, have grown in ways that we couldn’t have even imagined when we first came to W&L.”

Jordan LaPointe ’17


Q: How did you first hear about the Johnson Scholarship?

I heard about the W&L Johnson Scholarship from one of my close friends in high school who had applied. If it wasn’t for that friend, I probably wouldn’t have given the school a closer look and applied for the scholarship, despite being a Virginia resident.

Q: Were you considering any other colleges when you applied for the scholarship?

Like most students in my area, I was deeply invested in going to the University of Virginia, but I was also considering UCLA and Berkeley.

Q: Why did you ultimately choose W&L?

I had to weigh my practical and personal interests in coming to my decision, and it just so happened that W&L struck the right balance for me.

Q: How has Johnson affected your views on leadership and integrity — or on academics?

The Johnson has shown me how much excellence must come from within if one wishes to maximize the positive influence that they exert upon their environment. The Johnson Program does an excellent job of giving its scholars enough personal space to develop on their own and figure out what areas they excel in, then offers them the tools to hone those interests to their heart’s content. Because of that, many Johnson scholars, including me, have grown in ways that we couldn’t have even imagined when we first came to W&L.

Q: What is your favorite story about your W&L experience, if you had to pick one?

One of my favorite experiences was interning with Professor Kuettner and the foreign language department during the summer after my sophomore year. It was interesting to experience Lexington without all of the students from W&L and VMI. The town was quieter than usual, with good weather and an abundance of outdoor activities. It was a lot of fun interacting with the local residents as well as with the other W&L summer scholars, each engaged in their own unique research or project.

Q: Do you have a mentor on campus?

Professor Ikeda has been guiding me since I was a first-year student, showing me all the opportunities available through the East Asian Languages and Literatures department if I decided to test my limits and put myself out there. Because of her, I’ve done incredible things like taking part in an international student conference representing W&L and studying abroad in Japan for an entire year.

Q: What extracurricular are you involved in right now that you are extra-passionate about?

Since I’ve been at W&L, I’ve been involved with the Mock Trial team. I didn’t have the opportunity to do Mock Trial in high school, so when I came to Washington and Lee, I thought it would be a good chance for me to explore and develop new skills. After three years of active involvement, from all of the weekends traveling across the East Coast to the sleepless nights going over case materials, I haven’t regretted it once.

Q: What is your favorite campus tradition or piece of history?

The Honor System

Q: If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to “first day on campus” you?

Pack enough clothes for your App-Adventure pre-O trip; it’s five days, not two….

Q: If someone asked you “why choose W&L,” what is the one reason you would tell them?

The opportunity for immense personal growth

Do you know an exceptional student? Someone passionate?
Someone involved? Do you want to see their face on a My W&L profile? Why not nominate them?