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Zola Sayers-Fay

Stamps 1693 Scholar

Stamps logoZola Sayers-Fay


Anchorage, AK (Groton School)

Academic Interests

International Relations, Public Policy, Arabic

Why W&M

When making my college list, I prioritized the size & vibe of schools, strength of the programs I was interested in, and affordability. I also wanted a school where I would feel a strong sense of community, but even with all these qualifiers, my list was long. Finalist weekend, however, helped me narrow down my list super quickly.

My immediate first impression of William & Mary was that the campus was beautiful and green in April while Massachusetts was still cold and gray. But soon I met tons of people: Dr. Cristol, Ms. Van Deusen, current 1693s and other finalists that shared stories that gave me even better reasons that William & Mary is where I wanted to be. I learned more about International Relations at W&M and research opportunities available through the Global Research Institute. I also listened to current 1693 scholars talk about what they were using their research grants to do. At no other school had I heard students talk about this level of undergraduate research and thus I was super excited. We had lunch with professors and heard about their stories teaching at William & Mary and, in many cases, involving students in their research. Mostly, I was struck with how much support it seemed the 1693 Scholars Program would offer me in a myriad of ways. I also left with the impression that William & Mary, as well as the 1693 Scholars Program, would offer me that community I was looking for.

When Dr. Cristol called me later to offer me the 1693 scholarship, I didn’t hesitate to accept it. I can’t wait to spend the next four years at William & Mary!

W&M Activities 
High School Activities 
  • Arabic National Security Language Initiative for Youth (State Dept)
  • Mock Trial Co-President
  • Model Congress Head
  • Sustainability Committee Head
  • JV Women’s Ice Hockey
  • Conservation Corps
  • Staff Writer for School Newspaper and School Blog
  • Dorm Prefect
  • GSA Head
  • UN Human Rights Training Programme 
Awards / Distinctions
  • National AP Scholar with Distinction
  • National Merit Commendation
  • Scholastic Silver Key Winner for Humor Writing (Massachusetts)
  • US Presidential Scholars Program Nominee (Alaska)