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‘A Good Place to Grow’ From Lexington to London, Faith E. Pinho '18 has had a vast array of experiences.

Faith Pinho ’18

Hometown: Everett, Massachusetts
Majors: Journalism and Politics

“How does it feel to be back?” everyone seemed to want to know.

I had just returned to Lexington for my senior year at Washington and Lee University from a year of living, studying and working in London. The rolling hills of Lexington marked a drastic change from the towers and bridges of the London cityscape, and my friends seemed to think that I would bemoan the difference in scenery.

And yet, coming home to Lexington was one of the happiest moments of my life.

As a city girl from the Boston area, I originally had some reservations about attending this southern college nestled in the foothills of Shenandoah country. When I entered W&L as a First-Year student, I quickly became an adamant advocate for increased diversity at the school, and immediately set to work with W&L’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. In my first year, I organized programming to celebrate Black History Month. As a sophomore, I hosted the annual Parents’ Weekend multicultural dinner for more than 250 guests. I served on committees and boards that sought to bring more students of diverse backgrounds to the university.

Along the way, I picked up a few diverse experiences myself. I spent my freshman Spring Term in Ghana, studying African politics with Professor Tyler Dickovick and working with a nonprofit founded by then-W&L senior Emmanuel Abebrese ’15. During my sophomore year, I lived in the Global Service House with students from around the world and interned for a newspaper in Washington, D.C. Then I left for a year to live in an international city, study at King’s College London and work in a tiny British coffee shop.

When I returned to Lexington last fall, the community I had built during my first two years of activities welcomed me back warmly. Journalism professors took me out for lunch and gave me hours of career advice. Dean Tammy Futrell, head of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, caught me up on all the campus goings-on. My Lexington Presbyterian Church family invited me to brunches and dinners. Even the mountains seemed to embrace me. After all my efforts to expand my horizons and travel, coming back to Lexington felt like a sweet return home.

As I graduate, I reflect on the wealth of wonderful experiences I’ve had here. W&L has given me a place to advocate for my beliefs, to travel and work abroad, and to build a community. From class on the Colonnade to hikes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the sunny seat in Pronto to Wednesday morning bluegrass jams – Lexington has been a good place to grow.

Faith takes it all in at Commencement.

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More about Faith

Extracurricular involvement:
Society of Professional Journalists, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, University Jazz Ensemble, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
Has anyone on campus inspired you?
Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy ’16, my first best friend at W&L, has shown me that there is a lesson to learn from every experience and that we are always progressively getting better. She also inspired me to learn about soaps. MaKayla Lorick ’19 inspires me with her strength, dignity and ability to laugh every day.
Best place to eat in Lexington? What do you order?
Sweet Treats, hands down. Shane whips up the best cranberry chicken salad sandwich, while Adrian serves the stories. And the mini cannolis are small enough that you don’t feel guilty about dessert.
What do you wish you’d known before you came to campus?
I will be an alumna much longer than I will be a college student so enjoy the short time as a student and pick a place with a strong alumni presence!
Post-graduation plans:
Pulliam Journalism Fellowship in Indianapolis and then who knows the places I’ll go?
Favorite W&L memory:
No one memory, just any night when the vast black sky filled with stars and any morning when the sun gleamed purples, pinks and oranges above the blue ridges. Any time a short visit turned into an hours-long conversation that weaved together memories, philosophy and dreams.
Favorite class:
I will never forget exploring perceptions of freedom in Prof. Stuart Gray’s political philosophy seminar. Or running beside the rushing Woods Creek for Aerobic Running. Or defending the beauty of ethnicity in Prof. Angela Smith’s Race and Justice in America class. I can’t pick favorites!
What’s something people wouldn’t guess about you?
I’m the youngest of seven and I can recite the Gettysburg Address from memory.