(e)Xposé yourself

Highlighting diversity at Washington and Lee

Caroline Saltzman

Washington and Lee is known for many things, but is diversity one of them?

This past weekend, Ijezie Ikwuezunma, ‘16,  Alexus McGriff, ‘18, and Faith Pinho, ‘18, showed that it is with The New Xposé, a showcase with two purposes: attracting diverse prospective students to W&L and strengthening diversity as another pillar of W&L culture.

“We were aiming to do so by showing off the diverse talents here on campus that may go unnoticed,” McGriff said.

A spin off of last year’s Project Express Yourself, the Xposé hosted not only prospective students, but current W&L students as well.

The event opened with a song, the W&L version of Jay-Z and Alicia Key’s ‘Empire State of Mind,’ now ‘W&L State of Mind.’ Sung by Ikwuezunma and Anthonia Adams, ‘17, the tune confessed that “these columns inspire you,” here in Lexington.

Before the showcase began, Ikwuezunma and Pinho welcomed attendees and spoke to the prospective students about why they feel W&L is a special place.

“As students we have a really tight community,” Pinho said.

“Here you never go anywhere without seeing one of your friends.”

Ikwuezunma, McGriff and Pinho looked forward to speaking about W&L to these high school students.

“[We hoped that The New Xposé would show an] experience here at W&L that goes beyond what one would typically read on the website,” McGriff said.

Lee Somerfeldt, ‘18, and Bennett Lewis, ‘17, along with others, put on a skit aimed at debunking classic college myths. These W&L students used humor to portray the idea that W&L is not the typical university for the typical student.

Southern Comfort, W&L’s sole all-male acapella group, closed the evening with some of their classics.

“We love to perform for a variety of audiences, so we try to take advantage of all opportunities to do that,” Southern Comfort’s Michael Stovall, ‘16, said.

Many students in attendance enjoyed the evening and found it to be inspiring.

“I came to support the students here,” Megan Riley, ‘17, said. “I really liked the different performances. It was really creative.”

McGriff also felt that the night was successful, and she now looks forward to the future of Project Xpress Yourself.

“[I hope that] these events will not only attract diverse students to W&L, but that they will unite the students that are already here,” McGriff said.