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2013–14 GOLD Scholars

Maggie Whalen ’14

Hamilton’s sense of community convinced Maggie to enroll, and, after nearly four years on campus, she’s even more certain that’s what sets the College apart. “At every level of the institution, there are people who care about students’ health and happiness, and, contrary to a larger institution, students here have many more channels through which they can easily engage with faculty, deans and upper-level College officials. … This environment makes opportunities for personal growth and success plentiful.”

When Maggie arrived on the Hill from her home in Stone Ridge, New York, she already knew that she wanted to “study world politics” and “make a career out of helping people.”  Originally thinking she would double-major, Maggie “realized that I would have more breadth to explore different types of classes by selecting two minors. Through some lucky experimentation, I settled upon a world politics concentration with minors in anthropology and Russian studies.”  After studying in Brazil junior year, she altered her concentration path from a focus on “the thematic study of regime change and democratic transitions” to “poverty and inequality, which I feel best informs my future goals.” Following graduation, Maggie plans to join the Peace Corps, where she hopes “to work with girls and women in the developing world to help them attain education, economic independence and access to healthcare.” She intends to follow that with enrollment in a master’s degree program in public health.

“I feel that during my time at Hamilton, the possibilities for my future have only expanded. I can imagine my life unfolding in so many different ways, and if there’s anything I’ve learned in the last four years, it’s that plans tend to change. … I think the totality of my four years at Hamilton, my trials as well as my triumphs, have made me a more sensitive, thoughtful and flexible individual.”

Maggie readily admits to over-committing and over-extending herself in an effort to wring everything possible out of the Hamilton experience. She credits learning to say “no” and accepting help when needed with allowing her to maintain balance. Outside of class, she enjoys singing with the College Choir and the College Hill Singers, as well as the co-ed a cappella group, Duelly Noted. She has “dabbled in” marathon canoe racing, intramural softball, volunteering with Project SHINE, DJ-ing for campus radio station WHCL, playing Hermione in Hogwarts at Hamilton, and “dipping and twirling with the Ballroom Dance Club.” She is also a former Admission tour guide.

“For me, the things I’ll remember most about Hamilton are the many wonderful people it has been my privilege to meet and get to know… Had it not been for the financial support of the many donors and friends of the College, and the need-blind admission policy, it is entirely likely that I would have spent the last four years somewhere else. … I grow more grateful every day that I will graduate debt-free… For this unparalleled gift, I offer my most sincere thanks.”


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2013–14 GOLD Scholars