Morgan Fogleman ’16 had just started her first semester at Wake Forest University when she made a bold decision. Instead of taking French, as she had at Williston, she would try an entirely new language: Arabic. “All my friends thought it was the craziest thing to do, to start a new language, with a new alphabet, in your first semester of college,” she recalls. “And I was like, oh, how hard can it be? I can do anything!”
What gave her that confidence, says Morgan, is Williston.
“When you have a lot of people—teachers, dorm parents, coaches—investing a lot of time in you, you personally feel much more capable,” she explains. “Because of all the time people had put into me, I really felt I was capable of doing things that otherwise I would have thought were too hard, or take too long, or require too much effort. Now I know that when you put a lot of work into things, you are capable of reaching new heights.”
Growing up in South Kingston, Rhode Island, Morgan was preceded at Williston by her sister, six years her senior. As a kid, Morgan would often visit campus, running around the field at her sister’s lacrosse games. When the time came to start thinking about a school for her, she says, Williston already felt like home. But choosing where to go was just the beginning of the process.
“My parents made it very clear that going to a private school is a luxury, not a necessity, so unless it could be affordable, it was not something on the table for me,” she says. “I felt I was fighting two battles: one, trying to get into a school—taking tests, interviews—then, additionally, my parents had told me, You can get into every school you apply to, but unless it’s paid for, you’ll just stay at home.”
Williston came through with a financial aid package that met her family’s needs, and Morgan made the most of the opportunity: taking seven AP classes as she played three sports (field hockey, hockey, and lacrosse), serving as proctor in Memorial Hall East, tutoring in the Writing Center, being named an AP Scholar with Honor in 2015, and receiving a National Merit Letter of Commendation, to name just a few of her achievements. “I still think about how much my experience there shaped me, really. And in so many ways other than academically,” she says. “I was challenged and given a lot more agency with the kind of classes I was taking, and that has paid off a ton in college.”
Which perhaps explains why she jumped at that chance to study Arabic as a freshman. It was a decision, it turns out, that opened a new door for her. “I’m actually going to minor in it,” she reports. “And I’m hoping to study abroad in Jordan this summer. We’ll see how it goes after that!”