Meet Meg Graham ’23 Graham appreciates how W&L empowers students to follow their passions.
Name: Meg Graham
Major: Sociology and Anthropology; pre-medical track
Hometown: Clarksville, Maryland
Why did you choose to come to W&L?
When I tagged along on my older brother’s college visits, I was immediately drawn to W&L, even as a high school freshman. The traditions that emphasize the community aspect of the school, the honor system, and the ability to form close relationships with professors initially attracted me to W&L and proved to be what I have loved most about it. The Johnson Scholarship program has been a tremendous support for my studies, allowing me the financial freedom to spend summers in volunteer positions with an orchestral program for disadvantaged youth and with free medical clinics. These experiences not only provided opportunities for me to contribute to my community, but also allowed me to gain valuable clinical experiences that will shape the type of physician I aim to be.
What did you enjoy most during your time at W&L?
Taking sociology classes alongside courses ranging from organic chemistry to art history, I’ve loved learning about new things while also seeing how seemingly disparate subjects complement and intertwine with one another. I’ve enjoyed the discussions with classmates, the chats with professors during office hours, and the time spent crafting and refining research papers and projects. I also loved all the fun events in the spring… Fancy Dress, floating the Maury, senior traditions, and living with my best friends in the best place ever.
What has been your greatest accomplishment since arriving at W&L?
In general, I’m proud of how I have been able to find a balance between my academics, extracurriculars and social life at W&L. I’ve managed to make lifelong best friends while also doing well in classes, doing research/volunteering off campus, and getting involved in organizations including peer counseling, Greek life and music ensembles. Coming into school, I was nervous about whether it would be possible for me to do this. W&L really empowers you to get involved with whatever piques your interests.
Who at W&L has been most inspiring to you so far?
Allie Stankewich inspires me. I met Allie my freshman year in the Wind Ensemble, and since then we’ve become really good friends. From studying in Tanzania and becoming fluent in Swahili to being involved in literally every area of campus, Allie is one of those people who seems to do everything and do it well. Even with all her accomplishments, what inspires me most about Allie is the way that she makes time for others despite her busy schedule. She’s always there to talk with me about my day or to crack jokes between classes. She constantly inspires me to be a better friend, musician, peer counselor and student.
What are your hobbies/interests?
I love everything about food… from scouting out farmers’ markets, to trying new recipes, to researching restaurants to visit. I get this from my mom and grandmother — we are always talking food and sharing recipes! I drive my friends crazy sending them photos of my meals and reminding them about upcoming W&L dining events. Luckily, I also enjoy exercising: walking the trails around campus, riding the Peloton, and swimming. I also enjoy playing the French horn. My time with the University Wind Ensemble and University Orchestra has been another highlight of my years at W&L.
What book has made the most significant impact on your life?
As an elementary schooler, I read “The Playground Problem” over and over again. It is about a little girl who is left out of playing soccer at recess because she is a girl. I loved how, rather than quit or just be mad at the boys, she formed her own soccer group of girls, and then joined the teams together so that everyone could play. Her persistence, willingness to forgive and inclusive attitude are still inspiring today!
What is the most adventurous thing that you have ever done?
Probably going hiking and swimming through caves in Mexico!
What is your desert island food?
English trifle — a favorite dessert I have at Christmas with layers of sherry-infused cake, vanilla custard, fresh raspberries and whipped cream.
What is your favorite movie?
“Kicking and Screaming.” I must have watched this movie 100 times growing up… so much so that certain quotes from the movie have made it into my family lexicon!
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut-doctor. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor — I loved playing with the doctor kit at school and helping my parents take care of my younger siblings. But I also loved the Air and Space Museum, particularly the freeze-dried astronaut ice cream. Since finding out I could buy freeze-dried ice cream at the grocery store, I decided to drop the astronaut aspirations. But I’ve stuck with my doctor dreams and will be going to medical school next year!
If you could have a conversation with anyone, who would it be and why?
I’d love to talk with my great-great grandmother. She graduated from medical school in 1895. It would be really interesting to hear about what it was like being a female physician at that time and all that has changed since then.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself?
I go by “Meg” because it is my initials! My real name is Mary Elaine Graham.