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Meet Madison Lilly ’25 Lilly credits the friendliness she encountered on campus as one of her top reasons for choosing W&L as her home.

Madison-Lilly-scaled-600x400 Meet Madison Lilly '25Madison Lilly ’25

Name: Madison Lilly
Hometown: Narrows, Virginia

Why did you choose to come to W&L?

As a small-town girl, I appreciated the size of W&L and the opportunity to really get to know professors and other students. Large schools were very overwhelming to me, and the friendliness that I experienced in Lexington and W&L’s campus sealed the deal. My dad is a W&L Law alumnus, so Lexington has always been special to him as well. I loved seeing the campus and town through his eyes and hearing how special his time in Lexington was.

What has been your greatest accomplishment since arriving at W&L?

While my academics will always be vitally important to me, I have grown to prioritize my mental well-being and social time. Whether it be creating time to spend with friends or taking more breaks from academic life, my views of success and fulfillment have shifted in the last year. As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, that has been the most valuable accomplishment of all.

Who at W&L has been most inspiring to you so far?

Professor Alex Brown from the religion department was my New Testament professor my very first semester at W&L. Having come from a magnet STEM Governor’s School, my junior and senior years of high school were almost exclusively science-based. I came to W&L excited and nervous for my humanities classes, and Professor Brown reminded me that it’s possible to enjoy both those and STEM. It was a surprising realization that I am thankful to have had early in my W&L career. When she taught, sometimes I just had to put my pencil down and listen; it was so obvious that she loved what she was doing, which made it beautiful to listen to. That was inspiring, too.

What inspires you?

My little hometown and the people in it certainly inspire me. Though it was hard to leave my small, close-knit community, knowing that I have so many people supporting me from back home always motivates me to continue working hard and chasing my dreams. I wouldn’t be at W&L without their consistent love and encouragement, and I hope to make them proud.

What are your hobbies/interests?

I am a dancer, former gymnast, travel enthusiast and anatomy fanatic.

What book has made the most significant impact on your life?

Probably the entire Harry Potter series — those books jump-started my love of reading when I was younger.

What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?

This is a tough one… probably wandering the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem at night over the summer!

If they made a movie about your life, who would play you?

Reese Witherspoon or her daughter Ava Phillipe (or both!)

What is your desert island food?


What is your favorite movie?

“Napoleon Dynamite!”

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A vet or a fairy princess (but there’s no major/minor combo for that)

If you could have a conversation with anyone, who would it be and why?

I would wholeheartedly choose Princess Diana. I love learning about the royal family, and she would have an unmatched perspective. She was kind, caring, classy and someone I believe to be the epitome of royalty.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself?

I am obsessed with Christmas — my room back home has been decorated all year for almost four years straight! I get it from my dad, who always takes me to Hallmark’s Christmas in July events. Together, we have a 20+ tote ornament collection.