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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Kimber Wiggs '10

Hometown: Lakeland, FL

Major: English

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Head RA-UD, Residential Life
  • President, General Admission a cappella group
  • Chamber Singers (3 Years)
  • Joyful Noise
  • 2 student bands
  • PR Director, DJ, WLUR
  • Section Editor, Co-Editor, Calyx
  • Rho Gamma

Off-Campus Experiences: This past summer (2009) I did an R.E. Lee Scholarship from home with Prof. Genelle Gertz studying John Milton. I researched the most recent Milton scholarship for Prof. Gertz's 300-level Milton class.
I plan to study abroad in Ireland in the Spring of 2010.

Post-Graduation Plans: I intend to attend graduate school to earn my doctorate in English and eventually become a professor. I also want to write, so I feel like being an English professor will be a good route for me. Immediately after graduation, I either want to travel extensively or work as a princess at Disney World.

Favorite W&L Memory: There are really too many to pick just one, but if I had to, it would probably be "trick-or-treating" in the Commons on Halloween of my freshman year. I was sick and didn't feel like going out, so my two best friends convinced me to get dressed up anyway, and we ran around the Commons in our costumes for about an hour.

Favorite Class: Anything in the English department. More specifically, I loved the Modern Irish Lit class I took with Prof. Marc Conner in the Fall of 2008. Most people in that class will probably groan at me for enjoying Ulysses, but Prof. Conner can make even the most difficult of texts interesting for me.

Favorite W&L Activity/Event: Football games: if you wear a sundress and leave at half-time, you're not doing it right. I prefer to go the face paint and jeans route and sit in the rowdiest possible cheering section. The Parents' Weekend A Cappella Concert is also high my list of favorite activities. I have participated in it all three years I've been here so far, and it is always a highlight of the Fall.

Favorite Campus or Lexington Landmark: Foamhenge: I guess it is technically outside of Lexington, but I love that we have a life-sized replica of Stonehenge. I have had some great times sneaking in there and having picnics when it is, strictly speaking, closed.

My freshman year I had no aspirations to any major campus leadership. I was heavily involved in several organizations in high school, but I planned to take it easy going into college. I signed up for a few activities at the Campus Activities Fair and I toyed with the idea of being a Volunteer Venture leader, but I didn't really think much further into my future.

That fall, however, one of my favorite people, a senior RA in Davis, convinced me that I should apply to be an RA. I was hesitant at first, especially since it was rare back then for many rising sophomores to be hired for the position. The previous year there had only been three; that year there were four.

As a sophomore, when I started my job as a Residence Advisor in Graham-Lees, I was nervous, unsure that I would be any good. By then I had established myself at W&L, but I didn't know if I had what it would take to guide a group of impressionable freshmen. I quickly had to learn to take initiative and assert myself when dealing with the girls who were entrusted to my care.

My natural introversion had to be subverted if I was going to be successful. The year was not an easy one, but it was immensely rewarding. I made some close and lasting bonds with my residents, and realized that I was capable of far more than I ever thought possible. I became a tutor, a mentor and even a disciplinarian. I went from being a timid sophomore to a confident rising junior with aspirations of greatness.

Now, two years later, I am the Head Residence Advisor for Upper-Division Students. I have formed amazingly close friendships with two years' worth of residents and fellow RAs. In fact, many of my best friends are on staff with me. This "job" has also given me the avenue to meet and befriend several deans and other staff members on campus. I use quotes because being an RA is not a job to me; it is a crucial part of who I am, and it has shaped every part of my W&L experience.

I have grown as a leader, a counselor, a student and a friend. In a larger school, I may have faded into the background; I may never have had the friendship with a senior RA that led to my initial pursuit of the RA job. W&L gave me the opportunity to push my own limits and achieve things I never thought I could.