That Guy: Matt Wallace
November 17, 2009
__Dressed in a blue pullover and a backward College of William and Mary baseball cap, Matt Wallace and I enjoys the unseasonably pleasant afternoon weather at the Daily Grind. I find out that he will be using his finance and accounting major to take the plunge into real life next fall by moving up to the Big Apple to start a job at Pricewaterhouse Coopers accounting firm. Charming and relaxed, this Kappa Sigma brother and future business associate is a master craftsman of iTunes playlists, has a keen interest in World War II, and is in the process of starting to bring a Livestrong chapter to the College.__
*How do you spend time on campus?*
I’m involved in Student Alumni Council and I was in the Howard [J.] Busby Finance Academy and the [Wayne F.] Gibb’s Accounting Society. I did Council for Fraternity Affairs stuff for a little, and College Partnership for Kids tutoring for a while. I’ve been starting Live Strong stuff here for a while, too. One of my friends and I went to a Livestrong Summit, which is where you apply to go and they teach you advocacy and ways to fundraise, and their CEO and Lance talk to you. In high school I was involved in [American] Cancer Society stuff. Cancer doesn’t discriminate and it can affect anyone, and it’s scary; so I think that anything that could help raise money to find a cure or build a support group for people who are going through it is really important.
*Have you ever been in a leadership position in your fraternity?*
I was social chair for two years. It’s a lot of work. It was a really good experience for me because I got to set up social events with people I was friends with… Middle School Madness was probably the best [party] theme and the most fun part was being able to make the playlists for the dance parties. I still make them.
*What can you not live without?*
My iPod or my music. It’s caused huge problems this semester and probably has affected my grade point average because my computer crashed and my iTunes wasn’t recognizing half my songs. Of course you can’t transfer them, so I had to do it manually. I have all my playlists with the playcounts and I didn’t want it to be all messed up.
*What do you do to relax?*
Hang out at my house, listen to music, work out, get out, definitely sit out on the Terrace, go to Corona Night or whatever it is. I’ve been to Mug Night [at the Green Leafe Cafe] a few times, but I really like Corona Night at Paul’s [Deli]. Of all the delis I’d say The Leafe is my favorite.
*What will you miss about the College when you head off in the spring?*
The people, number one. Also, the whole atmosphere; I went to high school in a city and I’m heading to New York after I graduate, so I’ll miss the people I’ve met, as well as the lax lifestyle and the Terrace.
*What excites you most about living in New York City?*
Well, I think I’m more excited about living in New York than about my job — you can go out anywhere at night — but what I’m really excited for are those Saturday mornings and what will get you awake and out and ready to go. I just feel like there’s always something to do in the city, something to see, places to go. I love the feeling of New York. I’m more lively and excited; [it’s] like a playground for adults.
*Are you excited about or dreading the 9-to-5 schedule?*
I sort of joke around, but the thing I’ll miss the most is when you just have those days when you’re exhausted and can’t take an afternoon nap, so that will be tough. I think the 9-to-5 thing forces you to manage your time, so I’ll just go to bed earlier.
*Any fun holiday traditions you’re looking forward to for Thanksgiving next week?*
Yeah, we always have a family soccer game — the old people against the young kids. Sometimes they give us a run for our money. We used to do T-shirts and stuff like that and we haven’t done that for the last couple of years because now that we’re older it’s kind of silly, but we still play and everything.
*What qualities do you value most in friends?*
First and foremost, honesty and when people are genuine. When you have those two qualities everything else kind of falls in line because you always have those friends who are the comedic relief, and then you are going to have the friends who are more serious and who you turn to for advice, or people you want to go have fun with: But if your friendships are based on honesty and trust, and they are genuinely good people, you can just focus on how you best relate to them.
*If you could have lunch with anyone from history who would it be?*
This sounds really morbid, but I would be fascinated to have lunch with [Adolf] Hitler. I took a class on the Holocaust with professor Marc Lee Raphael, who I love, and I had been to Munich and Dachau before. It sounds weird to say you’re fascinated with something like this, and obviously you don’t support what he did, but I’m definitely interested in the whole time period.
*Do you keep up with politics?*
Yeah, especially coming from [Washington,] D.C., I feel like I’ve kept up with it. I feel like I pick up on so much just being from the general area.
*Have you had any cool Washington, D.C. celebrity run-ins?*
Mark Warner goes to our Panera. So we see him occasionally. It’d be cool to run into [President Barack] Obama though.
*Are you reading any books for fun?*
I’m reading James Patterson’s, “Fourth of July.” I’m also like half-reading a lot of other books right now, too. I just finished “Naked” by David Sedaris; it’s a book of short-stories about his life. It’s told in a way where you learn something and then he casually mentions it in other stories, so you feel like there’s a thread. I bounce around a lot, but I have a list. There’s a shelf at my house I want to read.
*Any last comments?*
It was unexpected how much I liked it here. First semester was hard, but I met great people and friends for life, and though I think I’m ready to go, it will be sad to leave. I’ll definitely be coming back for alumni events and Homecoming.
__If he’s brushing elbows over bagels with Mark Warner in Washington, D.C., who knows what new celebrity run-ins, cooking skills and adventures this senior will accumulate during his time in Midtown Manhattan. Until then, you can find Matt hanging out on the terrace, dancing with his iPod or soaking up these oddly warm November days in Williamsburg.__