Michael Valliant '98
After working in communications, writing, and nonprofit organizations for almost 20 years, I followed a call to work in church education. I am currently the assistant for adult education and small groups for Christ Church Easton, where I have worked since 2017, and I am attending seminary through the Iona Collaborative between the Seminary of the Southwest and the Episcopal Diocese of Easton.
There were so many great professors—Dr. Gillin, Prof. Cousineau, Prof. Lamond, Dr. Brien, who I learned so much from. But maybe the biggest was Dr. Robert Anderson, who I first took a symbolic logic class from, then modern philosophy, and his enthusiasm, way of teaching, and how methodical he was—he is someone I think about all the time and am so grateful to have studied under him.
Fondest WC Memory
I wasn't a typical student at WC—I was a bit older, worked full-time, and commuted to school from Oxford, so I wasn't on campus really except for classes and the occasional speaker. When I could, I did play racquetball with Drs. Anderson and Brien, which was fantastic. As an aside, someone who I was in a number of classes with, Jessica Jones (now Stehle, also class of 1998), our paths re-crossed decades later, and we are both in the same seminary class now, there are a total of seven of us in the class. It's a small world, for sure.
Let’s Hear It for the Liberal Arts
Washington College helped me learn to think, both creatively and critically, as well as to read, to interpret, and to discuss and write about literature. The writing aspect has been a huge part of my career, and discussing literature comes into play on a daily basis as we lead Bible and book studies.
Take every advantage of everything WC has to offer. Attend readings, join creative writing groups, write for the school newspaper, it's all right there in front of you. And don't lose sight of the world around you—I look at things like the Center for Environment and Society and the fantastic programs they have, and I wish I could do them now.