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Washington and Lee University

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Lauran Paten Hughes

Lauran Paten Hughes

Hometown: Richmond, Va.

Major: Theater and French

Post-Graduation Plans: After graduation, I am moving up to NYC to pursue an acting career. That basically requires doing anything and everything I can to establish myself as a dedicated and talented actor. During the day, I will be working at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting where I completed a Shepherd Poverty Alliance Internship last summer. I will be doing marketing, as well as continuing to help out in their Outreach Division which provides free actor training to at-risk youth who might not otherwise be able to afford it.

Read more about Paten 

What will you miss most about W&L?

After spending all of my college summers in cities, I will ironically miss the small-town setting the most. I will miss not being able to walk down Main Street and run into everyone I know, and not being able to wake up one morning and go for a run along the Maury River. I’ve been getting quite nostalgic the past few weeks, knowing that I won’t be waking up to the beauty of Lexington. It sounds so cliché to say, but I truly have taken that for granted. Above the gorgeous backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains are all of my friends, professors, and members of the community. I can’t even begin to describe what a difference so many people in this community have had on my life.

How are you different now than you were four years ago?

When I came to college, I was quite naïve and not entirely sure what I was looking for or why I came to W&L. I have been given numerous leadership opportunities that have enabled me to impact our community in an incredibly positive way. Over the past four years, I have gained a huge sense of self and confidence in my ability to lead others through difficult situations and inspire a community to become a better place. I had also never acted before I came to W&L…besides my debut as a unicorn in 7th grade.

Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?

Go to Hull’s drive-in movie theater. I waited until my last week of college to go for the first time, and I probably would have gone every weekend had I done it sooner.

What do you most look forward to after graduation?

I am excited to be doing the things I have spent the past four years preparing for. It’s terrifying because I am the kind of type-A personality that needs all of the details mapped out for me before I commit to something. A career in theatre is a career of uncertainty, insecurity, and chance. I would not have the strength to make that leap of faith in myself to pursue acting if it weren’t for the support of the W&L community.