The Columns

My W&L: Lucy Wade Shapiro ’15

— by on September 5th, 2016

Lucy Wade Shapiro '15

“This community is made possible solely through the Honor System, which every student, professor, and alum holds so dear.”

Washington and Lee is community. Washington and Lee is liberating. Washington and Lee is tradition. Washington and Lee is honor. Washington and Lee is innovative. Washington and Lee is leadership. Washington and Lee is home.

I came to W&L excited and nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what I would study. I didn’t know who I was going to be. I didn’t know who I wanted to be. When I decided to run for Freshman Representative of the Executive Committee, I was able to see the strength of our tight-knit community. I did not know many people yet, but my classmates encouraged and supported me to run for the position. It spoke volumes that upperclassmen who couldn’t even vote for the freshman position would express their excitement that I was running. Those first weeks of my freshman year when I met so many caring people established the foundation of my W&L experience.

My education is not purely bound by the classroom, tests or grades. I have learned more through my interactions with our community than I ever would have learned studying for an exam. I firmly believe that this community has shaped me into the person I am today, and will continue to mold me in the years to come. This community is made possible solely through the Honor System, which every student, professor and alum holds so dear. It requires the very best of all of us. The Honor System is ingrained in this institution.

I have had the extreme honor to serve as the President of the Executive Committee beginning April of my junior year. In this position, I have come to learn what leadership really means–service for others. A year after the tragic accident that claimed a senior’s life, the EC had the opportunity to organize an event to remember Kelsey Durkin’s life and all those affected by the accident. Seeing the community gather in support of one another is something that I will never forget. I cherish that memory as a testament to the compassion of this community.

To me, Washington and Lee means service, honor, and community. It has taught me to be confident in my abilities as well as humble in the company of such outstanding individuals. I feel truly blessed to be a part of W&L and I will forever remember the values it has instilled in me.