Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

My W&L: 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.

If you know any W&L students who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Major: American History

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Executive Committee
  • Peer Counselor
  • Women Interested in Technology & Science (WITS)
  • Volunteer at the Rockbridge Area Health Center
  • Tri Beta Member
  • Reformed University Fellowship
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Biology 464-Richmond Clinical Rotation Program, Spring Term
  • Medical Clinic Intern at the Church Health Center, Memphis TN

Post-Graduation Plans: I plan to take a gap year immediately following graduation. Ideally, I would work in a clinical setting in order to meet Physician Assistant program requirements.

Favorite W&L Memory: Dressing up as gnomes with my pledge class for Halloween of my sophomore year

Favorite Class: Fundamentals of Biology: Heart Attacks and High Fructose Corn Syrup with Professor Hamilton

Favorite W&L Event: Young Alumni Weekend

Favorite Lexington Landmark: The view from the Walmart Parking lot. I know that sounds odd but it is by far the best view of House Mountain in Lexington.


Why did you choose W&L? I chose W&L for the people, and I am so glad I did. Even as a senior, I still think W&L is the same community that I fell in love with the first time I came on campus. I have found some of the most caring and compassionate friends, professors and mentors here.

Why did you choose your major? I decided to study American History because I loved all of the introduction classes I took and I knew I could do that while taking science classes as prerequisites for PA school. I have had quite the liberal arts education. Not many other institutions allow students to take several classes in such different fields.

Advice for prospective or first-year students? Meet as many people–students, professors, and administration–as you can during your freshman year. They truly will shape your W&L experience.