Tag Archives: Pre-Orientation

Tour Guide Spotlight: Lizzie Engel ’13

8 Dec

Lizzie Engel ’13

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Major(s)/Minor(s): Physics/Engineering and Spanish

What clubs/activities are you involved in on campus? Hillel, College Democrats, Pi Beta Phi, University Women’s Choir, Volunteer Venture Pre-Orientation Program

How are you involved in the Lexington community? I have volunteered for the Head Start Program at Waddell Elementary.

What are some of your other hobbies/interests? I enjoy cooking, baking and exploring the outskirts of Lexington.

Favorite weekend activity? Studying outside on the Colonnade when it’s nice out.

Favorite thing about Lexington? Everyone abides by the speaking tradition, not just those associated with W&L.  When I walk through town, every person I pass is so friendly and welcoming.

What’s your favorite W&L memory? This past summer, I visited some of my friends who were in Lexington for the summer, and we went to Panther Falls.  We ended up camping there and sleeping on a boulder with an INCREDIBLE view of the stars.

What’s the best encounter you’ve had with a faculty or staff member? This isn’t a specific encounter, but my academic advisor (Irina Mazilu in the physics department) is definitely one of the coolest people on this campus and whenever I get to see her it’s a good day.  She really takes the time to get to know all of her students.  I frequently go into her office just to chat about life, and she’s never too busy to take the time to talk to me about travel, science, or the latest news story.  She’s always so helpful with schoolwork, and I can tell that she really cares.


Volunteer Venture Charleston

5 Sep


Last week I had the privilege of spending my week with 15 first years and 4 other upper classmen in beautiful Charleston, West Virginia.  We spent our time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, hearing from representatives of the “Friends of Coal” and “Friends of Mountains” organizations, and most importantly, making new friends before orientation week even started.  The pre-orientation trips are wonderful opportunities for freshmen and I am so glad I got to lead one this year.

Volunteer Venture: DC

28 Sep

It’s hot, you’re walking on the sidewalk for miles (and I swear it was all uphill), and there is no metro stop in sight. Why would anyone attempt such an adventure during the summer months in DC? Surely it can’t be because you’re trying to find the nearest grocery store so that your pre-orientation group of First Years can complete their “shopping on a budget” mission for dinner that night. And don’t tell me these students have about $7 to buy enough food for a meal to feed five people!

Well, it’s true. Not only is DC sweltering during the summer months, but our group did only have $7 to spend on groceries for dinner that night. But don’t worry – the trip leaders did make a pretty yummy confetti cake for dessert that night.

Volunteer Venture offers a great option for first-years to get to know other students in their class while participating in community service in locations spanning from Washington, DC to Greensboro, NC and even Lexington, VA. During this week of Pre-Orientation, students may opt to go on a Volunteer Venture trip or an Appalachian Adventure trip, which involves hiking through the beautiful Virginia mountains. As a participant in a Volunteer Venture trip as a first-year and a leader of a VV trip as a sophomore, I can say with confidence that participating in a Pre-Orientation trip is one of the best experiences you’ll have to start off the new school year!

As a first-year, I participated in the Greensboro trip, which focuses on the racial issues surrounding poverty. This past trip, I lead the DC Volunteer Venture that was centered around policy and poverty. We volunteered at places like the DC Central Kitchen, Martha’s Table, and So Other’s Might Eat. The group was also very fortunate to hear from some great speakers, take a night tour of the monuments, and get a special tour of the Capitol! Spending each night on the floor of a church in your sleeping bag, cooking your own food, eating peanut butter sandwiches for lunch everyday, and having a limited number of showers also make for a great bonding experience.

If you’re interested in Washington and Lee and want to make an impact in a community through service, meet a group of amazing people, and start your year off on a positive note, then don’t be afraid to sign up for a Pre-Orientation trip… especially the Volunteer Venture trips! These trips aren’t all about volunteer work. From my experience, they’re more about creating relationships with a group of your peers through service. It’s so nice to have a group of friends when you get back to campus and are thrown right into Orientation week. And it’s also a great introduction to the Poverty classes W&L offers! Go VVDC!

Pre-orientation Trips!

25 Mar

As a freshman entering W&L, I participated in the Appalachian Adventure Pre-orientation program.  It was awesome.  The trip was a ton of fun, regardless of camping ability, and I met people who I am still friends with seven months later.  My first morning waking up in the dorms, I was so very grateful to have a friend to call and attend orientation week activities with.  For all incoming freshman, I highly recommend participating in a pre-orientation trip.
I enjoyed my trip so much that I am going to be a trip leader this coming fall.  Winter semester I took PE 180, Wilderness Leadership Training, where I had a weekly afternoon hike that culminated in a two day hiking trip this past weekend.  The weather was beautiful and the hike was challenging but fun and exciting.  One of my favorite things about Washington and Lee is the outing club.  You can do something with it once all year or every weekend.  As a freshman, the outing club has given me the opportunity to hang out people who I would not normally interact with and helped me take advantage of the gorgeous landscape surrounding Lexington.