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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Abel Delgado '10

Hometown: Miami, FL

Major: Global Politics

Minors: Environmental Studies and Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Chi Psi Fraternity
  • Ring Tum Phi Columnist
  • MSA
  • Gentlemen's Initiative
  • Brazil Club
  • General's Gentlemen's League
  • Office of Leadership Development Work Study
  • ITS Help Desk

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Studied abroad at the Federal University of Amazonas in Manaus, Brazil as part of the Environmental Studies Department's U.S. - Brazil Exchange Program
  • Summer 2009: R.E. Lee Scholarresearching democratization in the Muslim World.

Post-Graduation Plans: Law school, focusing on international law and hopefully working for a non-governmental organization.

Favorite W&L Memory: Orientation Week my freshmen year

Favorite Class: Natural Disasters in the Americas

Favorite W&L /Event: Fancy Dress

Favorite Campus Landmark: The lawn in front of the Colonnade




Moving from a public high school of 4,600 students in a sprawling metropolitan area to a private liberal arts college with just 1,700 undergrads in the quaint town of Lexington was quite the culture shock. But the change of scenery was easy to get used to. Both when I visited as a prospective student and when I was a first-year student, everyone in the Washington and Lee community was beyond welcoming and accommodating. Professors, administrators and plenty of students went out of their way to make my first year here a pleasant and productive one. That spirit of community has only grown stronger in the three years since. As a native of Miami, Fla., I often joke that "I had to go North to get South," but W&L's Southern charm and tradition is one its most attractive qualities.

I have always valued being surrounded by people who look different than I do, have different beliefs and come from different socio-economic backgrounds. W&L's commitment to diversity and its array of scholarships and financial aid programs have given many people, myself included, the opportunity to attend one of the best colleges in the country. I'll never forget how ecstatic I felt when I found out about my scholarship award. Quite a few W&L students have shared this experience. At my lunch table, I sit with friends from places as far away as Nepal, Ecuador and South Africa, and from states as spread out as New Hampshire, California, Wisconsin and Texas. We all bring something unique to the intellectual environment on campus, which is one reason we tend to learn as much outside the classroom as we do within it.

W&L has encouraged me to pursue my passions while fostering new ones. I have always been a political news junkie, and the discussions in my Global Politics courses have only helped feed my craving for political facts and figures. I am now a nationally read blogger on various political sites. My interest in human rights as well as the guidance of some of my professors and friends has inspired me to pursue a career in international law once I leave Lexington. With a W&L diploma in hand, I know I will be on good footing when that time comes. After taking a few English literature courses, I was confident enough to write my first novel, which I electronically published and will release for free to the public in October with plenty of help from friends on campus.

I remember that during the last morning of my first visit to W&L, I just stood in front of Lee Chapel and felt that I belonged here. It may sound a little clichéd or goofy, but sometimes when I'm stressed from the typical college workload, I take a breather and stand in front of Lee Chapel in the middle of the night, reminding myself not only that I belong here, but how fortunate I am to call this place home.