Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

Lena Bullard

Estes Family 1693 Scholarlena_bullard


Dakar, Senegal (Senegalese American Bilingual School) and Richmond, VA


Government and French

Why W&M

For as long as I can remember, William & Mary has been a part of my life. My parents met at W&M, so I grew up constantly hearing about the school’s accolades. And so my choice was clear - even before I began the application process, I decided that I couldn’t go to William & Mary; its omnipresence initially dissuaded me from even considering the school.

In the beginning of my college selection process, I only looked for prestige, good food, and comfortable dorms. I naively put too much faith in U.S. News’ college rankings and subsequently structured my top choices around the rankings on the list. Finding out that I was a 1693 semi-finalist was the catalyst for me taking the possibility of attending William & Mary seriously. Although I grew up hearing about William & Mary, I didn’t know much about the school until I started doing my own in-depth research. I found many things that interested me, especially the research opportunities with the Program on International Peace and Security (PIPS Program) and the close-knit community the school seemed to have.

The possibility of a scholarship never crossed my mind during my college application process, so when I found out I was being considered for the 1693 Scholars Program, I was ecstatic. I loved how, even before I arrived on campus, all of the people in the program seemed interested in getting to know me. From talking to Professor Cristol about my experiences living abroad to cross-time zone midnight calls with current scholars, I truly felt welcomed by the 1693 community. 

Finalist Weekend only solidified what I had learned throughout the selection process - that the academic rigor, wonderful people, and historic campus made William & Mary the school for me. Whether talking to a professor about particle physics or debating the efficiency of medieval medical techniques, I was amazed at how passion was at the center of everything the students and professors did. I loved how it seemed like the pursuit of knowledge never stopped in the classroom and I knew that if I decided to go to William & Mary, I would continue to have amazing conversations and experiences. So when Professor Cristol called me as I was about to board my plane back to Senegal, I didn’t hesitate to accept his offer!

W&M Activities
  • Admin Intern with the Project on International Peace and Security (PIPS)
  • Research Intern with the Lemon Project
  • Outreach Coordinator for the Conduct and Honor Advisory Program (CHAP)
  • Club Tennis Team
  • Black Student Organization
  • African Cultural Society
  • Brown Table Talk
  • Freeman Fellowship 
  • Interpreter, W&M Law School Immigration Clinic
High School Activities
  • Varsity Tennis Captain 
  • HR Intern at Cognition LLC
  • Book Club President 
  • YMCA Leaders Club Volunteer 
  • Debate Team
  • Honor Council
  • Student Council President 
  • Yoga Club
  • Mu Alpha Theta
  • Richmond Peace Project Conflict Resolution Training Leader
  • Tennis Coach
Awards / Distinctions
  • Valedictorian
  • AP Capstone Diploma 
  • American Mathematics Competition 3rd Place
  • AP Scholar with Distinction