W&L’s Legendary Volunteers: Julia Gsell ’18 Alex Petras ’24 interviewed Julia Gsell ’18 to learn more about her dedication to Washington and Lee.
W&L alumni give their time to their alma mater in many ways, including serving as class agents, on reunion committees, as chapter leaders and on advisory boards. This winter, the Development Ambassadors, Annual Giving’s student volunteers, interviewed some of the university’s longtime, high-achieving, legendary volunteers.
Alex Petras ’24 interviewed Julia Gsell ’18 to learn more about her dedication to Washington and Lee.
Volunteer Roles: Gsell has served as a class agent since she graduated in 2018.
W&L Background: Gsell majored in journalism and was in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She served on the Panhellenic Council. Gsell was also a member of Kathekon and worked as a phonathon caller during her sophomore and junior years. Along with two classmates, she was senior gift director.
Career: She works for Amazon as a marketing manager on the fashion team. Gsell is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and worked in advertising prior to joining Amazon.
“I believe that the best way to lead is by example — it’s a great way to live. I enjoyed my time at W&L, and I want that to continue for every student who steps on campus.”
~ Julia Gsell ’18
Q: How did you first get involved in volunteering for W&L as an alumna?
Working for the Development Office as a student really expanded my understanding of annual giving and how it impacts the university. I was able to take a lot from that experience and use it as a senior gift director, and it was only natural to serve as a class agent after that.
Q: What inspired you to become a volunteer?
W&L is an incredibly special place, and I want to be involved! It feels great to give back to a place that gave me so much, and I am happy to encourage others to do the same.
Q: What has been your proudest moment as a W&L volunteer?
Leading the senior gift campaign with my classmates, Jane Chiavelli and Hannah Powell. We raised nearly $16,000 for the Annual Fund, and seeing my classmates rally together to give back was an amazing experience.
Q: When were you last on campus?
Last fall, I attended my sister Ally’s in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. I had a chance to visit the Alumni Office and members in Kathekon. I also visited my sorority house and loved spending time on campus.
Q: Why should alumni consider giving their time as a volunteer for W&L?
I believe that the best way to lead is by example — it’s a great way to live. I enjoyed my time at W&L, and I want that to continue for every student who steps on campus. I give back because I love to give back, and I hope to encourage others to do the same.
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