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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Jenna Worsham '10

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Majors: English, Theater

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Varsity Swimming
  • University Wind Ensemble
  • Theater
  • Pi Beta Phi sorority
  • Peer Tutor

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Policy Directions Inc., D.C. (Summer 2008 intern)
  • Wind Ensemble/Orchestra tour of Egypt (Spring 2008)
  • Lifeguard

Favorite W&L Memory: Swim team training trips to Miami and Key Largo

Favorite Classes: Poetry from 1900-1950 with Professor Wheeler; Musical Theater with Professor Mish

Favorite Lexington Landmark: “Lex Cof” (Lexington Coffee Shop)

‘Why W&L?’ Well for me, it was because it is the kind of place where you can have it all--and then some.

As I enter my third year as a member of the women’s swim team, it’s hard to articulate the amount of excitement I feel for our growing team, as well as the challenges and prospects we face this coming season. Being a part of the team has given me opportunities to travel around the eastern U.S., including some really memorable training trips to Key Largo and Miami. I was thrilled to learn we may be headed to California this year for what will likely be another unforgettable experience. But for me, being a part of athletics at W&L has meant more than just traveling, staying in shape, and competing. It has added an enriching sense of community to my college experience. The idea of community is something all W&L students come to enjoy and respect throughout the college years.

Admittedly, athletics was not a top priority in my college search a few years ago. I’ve been swimming since before I can remember, having always been much less adept on land, but there came a time when I knew I had to get my priorities in line. And so for a while I believed that swimming would have to take a backseat to more practical, career-oriented goals.

You can imagine my enthusiasm, then, when I first visited W&L and discovered its unique commitment to strong and manageable Division III athletic programs. If you had told me before I came to W&L that I would find a beautiful liberal arts college where I could tackle a double major program, swim on a varsity team, play in the university wind ensemble, join a Greek organization, and still manage to have a life, I probably would have laughed. But that’s the special thing about W&L, and the thing I love most about it--it surprises people.

Swimming has kept me grounded at W&L, making an indelible impact on my character and confidence. The rewards of hard work and dedication to a committed team extend beyond the pool deck, motivating all of us to fully devote ourselves to other extra-curricular activities, and of course, to our academics. Sometimes it’s not easy, when you get home from a long day of class, rehearsal, and some tough hours in the pool, and then still have homework to do. But that’s when the community--the lifelong friends you’ve made, the supportive coaches and the professors who know you by name come in, and they’re the ones who make it all worthwhile.

In the end I think we’re all thankful that W&L fosters this unique multifaceted environment. It’s encouraging to be one in a community of many people balancing a handful of commitments they are passionate about. So you see, the real question isn’t “why W&L?” but rather, “why not?”