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Meet Sydney Fleming ’27 The first-year student says the Outing Club and W&L's proximity to great hiking and kayaking spots were a big draw.

Sydney-Fleming-scaled-600x400 Meet Sydney Fleming ’27

Sydney Fleming ’27
Hometown: Saint Thomas, Pennsylvania
Major: Biochemistry

Why did you choose to come to W&L?
When I was visiting W&L, I strongly felt a sense of community and fellowship, which is something that I was searching for in a college. Everyone would go out of their way to say hi and offer a helping hand, even for someone they didn’t know. I was also drawn to the conversational and personal nature of the professors and classes here. During Accepted Students Day, I got to experience how a biology class is taught by Professor Nadia Ayoub, and I was delighted by how involved and engaging she was and how she encouraged deeper thought into complex medical advances. Now, one year later, I am taking that very class here at W&L.

Where is your “home” on campus?
It is difficult for me to distinguish one area at W&L that I would call my home, because everywhere I go, I feel at home. I have found a home in RUF (a Christian group on campus), with my professors and especially with my floor. Even the mountains and landscape both on campus and around it remind me of my physical home in Pennsylvania. Everything about W&L is so welcoming and inviting. You meet someone, and within a week you forget that you haven’t known them for years. No matter who you are or what your background is, I guarantee you will find a home here.

What has been your most impactful experience at W&L, either on or off-campus?
When I came to W&L, I knew no one. For someone who isn’t a huge fan of change or traveling away from home for long periods, it was quite an adjustment. However, it has helped me grow so much in my faith, self-confidence and exploration of my passions. While being in a completely new environment was pretty much the last thing I wanted, it was exactly what I needed, and I quickly found a home here.

What was your favorite class and why?
On my first day of chemistry, I was terrified. My professor seemed intimidating and tough, and I thought that the class would make me want to completely abandon the biochemistry major and pick something else. Well, one semester later, that “intimidating professor” is now someone I would very much call a mentor and friend, and that chem class didn’t make me want to switch majors—it actually made me realize how much I love chemistry and solidified that I made the right decision in choosing a biochem major. Professor Uffelman’s general chemistry class is the hardest class I have taken so far, but it was also the most rewarding because it taught me how to manage my time and really learn content instead of just memorizing it. It wasn’t easy, but I know that it will make me a better chemist.

What are your hobbies/interests? How has W&L helped you develop and pursue them?
I am an avid outdoorsman. When I was looking at different schools, I was drawn to the mountains surrounding Lexington and the trails in back campus. I have always enjoyed hiking, kayaking, running and pretty much anything that involved being outside. Thanks to the Outing Club and W&L’s proximity to several hiking and kayaking spots, I have been able to frequently enjoy the outdoors and explore the beautiful Virginia landscape. I am also a pretty musical person, and there are an abundance of opportunities on and off campus to be involved in various musical groups. This semester I am going to start playing on the RUF worship team.