Skip to:Main Content

Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University Campus Image

Daniel Thornton '10

Hometown: Dumfries, VA

Majors: Computer Science (B.S.) and Music Performance in Piano (B.A.)

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Chamber Singers
  • VMI Glee Club (accompanist)
  • Grace Presbyterian Church (pianist)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (Soph Year)
  • Sigma Nu Fraternity
  • Reformed University Fellowship (RUF)
  • Generals' Christian Fellowship (GCF)
  • Courses and Degrees Committee (Sophomore Year)
  • Faculty Executive Committee (Junior Year)
  • Information Technology Advisory Committee (Junior/Senior Year)
  • Concert Guild (Soph-Senior Year)

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Summer 2007: Senior Technical Intern at Lockheed Martin (LMT) in Crystal City, VA, working on MDNT (Missile Defense National Team) and their GEM (Global Engagement Manager) software.
  • Summer 2008: continuation of above LMT MDNT internship.
  • Summer 2009: Business Process Intern at SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation), working on MCEITS (Marine Corps Enterprise Information Technology Services).
  • Spring Break 2008 - Chamber Singers tour to Turkey
  • Spring Break 2010 - Chamber Singers tour to South Korea

Post-Graduation Plans:

  • Summer 2010: returning to work at SAIC
  • Beyond: Law School somewhere or the M.S. in IT Management at UVA

Favorite Class: MATH 361 - Graph Theory with Dr. Wayne Dymacek

Favorite W&L Activity: Reformed University Fellowship (RUF)

Favorite Lexington Landmark: Stonewall Jackson's memorial in the center of Stonewall Jackson Cemetery.


Though Bursa's streets felt nearly vertical, we kept running. We passed mosque after mosque, uniformed school-children between. Finally the gravel changed to dirt, and we emerged onto the shoulder of a mountain, passing goatherds and wooden houses. James Dick ('10) and I had travelled to Turkey for a fast-paced choral tour with the University Chamber Singers, but still found time in the early hours to scope out each new city. Over the years, we had spent countless hours together in choral rehearsal, Ancient Greek, and countless other activities, but I knew I would remember this. We ran up a mountain that morning, though we hardly knew the country.

Two years later, preparing for another morning meeting, a message hit my inbox. "More Data!" read the subject. Seven minutes until the meeting, another email landed, proclaiming, "It worked up to n = 100!" And so I hurried to our thesis meeting with confidence, knowing we both had new progress to report to Professor Dymàĉek. This entire year, I have the pleasure to partner on an Honors Thesis with a true genius, my good friend Josiah Davis ('10). We roomed together freshman year in Graham-Lees 229, selecting classes and planning majors. Three years on, I serve as a Resident Advisor just a few doors down in Graham-Lees 232, where Josiah and I often meet to puzzle over Steinhaus graphs, the focus of our work together.

Though I came to W&L for its academic reputation, excellent faculty and beautiful campus, I did not expect to find such incredible friends here. Friends like James and Josiah have made my experience singularly rewarding. They are brilliant, humble, kind, loyal, true friends, and have taught me through their examples and encouragement to broaden my outlook, to reach beyond the comfortable, and to strive for excellence in every endeavor.