His yellow shirt still crisp after the long days and nights of orientation, Will Eaton makes a quick escape from the hustle of orientation’s final event before fall classes begin. Realizing just how incredible it has been for him, he sits, practically falling into his chair, ready to answer anything. As the final voices sound over the radio, Will, vice-chair of the 2008-2009 Undergraduate Honor Council, and orientation area director for Monroe hall, answers a few more requests, turns off his radio, and the reflecting begins.
As an orientation leader, you interacted a lot with freshmen. What was your favorite part of orientation?
I think the welcome session with all the students and all the parents together. President Reveley with his dry amazing-ness. It was the first time with everybody together. They got into it — the “William” and then the other side “Mary.” They had everyone chanting their year “2009!” “2010!” “2011!” “2012!” That was pretty cool seeing them all get excited, and they didn’t know it was historic for them.
When you came to the College, was there anything you thought you’d never do or achieve that you have at this point?
When I came to college, I remember sitting in the academic life session talking about research. I never thought that I’d do research because I wanted to go into business, and I heard about scientific research. When I started classes in the business school, I heard about the amazing research some of the faculty are doing.
I had never heard of students doing it, but this past summer I helped Professor Lindsey, a professor in the MBA program, with research, and that really opened new doors. That really has altered my path of what I want to do. Now I see myself really wanting to be in that classroom setting.
Who has inspired you to become so involved?
The community has gotten me to love what I’m doing. There were so many different influences; it wasn’t just any one person. When I started, I did something because it was something that I loved. I didn’t jump in and try and do everything first semester. I listened to that because that’s what they said during orientation. Do what you love.
I think that I get a lot of who I am from my dad; he’s in business, but he’s not in business as what it’s thought of today. He’s moved around to different places and has established himself in a company, but he knows the warehouse employees, not the manager. He got to know the people who load trucks, and regardless of if it will help him in the long run. He would get to know the individuals — not for a purpose, but to just purely hear their experiences. I’ve learned to just be open to experiencing and learning anything. I see a lot of what I do, the way I act, I got that from him. I loved being that way, and kept going and got involved with things that I love.
What would you want your last meal to be?
My last meal? That’s kind of sad. How about my last meal on campus? I would want that to be around 5:30 when there aren’t many people at the Caf., but then slowly everyone comes for dinner. The noise level slowly increases. My last bite would be a chocolate brownie warmed up in a bowl. Get some ice cream, a little peanut butter, and put that on the side, maybe some caramel, a little mixture of all three and a nice, rich, solid black coffee.
Speaking of dining halls, who’s your favorite dining hall employee?
Phyllis who used to make omelets at the UC. After having gone there pretty much everyday freshman, sophomore, junior year, I’d walk in and she’d know what I was going to get. For about four weeks, when I got to that point in the semester when I’d be running a little behind and having to go to the 8 a.m. class, I’d be there at 7:52. She caught on and at 7:50 had my omelet or scrambled eggs — made of egg beaters — ready to go in a to go container. That’s awesome, it maybe holds up the line to have that conversation, but it makes everybody’s day. It makes both of our days better.
What makes you angry?
A big thing that gets me angry, but still pushes me, is when people are rude just to be rude and when they are rude for a specific reason. If somebody’s just being rude to show off, it’s unnecessary to hurt that person. When they’re rude for a specific purpose, why is that the way that they have to address that problem that they have? Why does it have to come out in that way, that they would hurt that person. That makes me angry.
Two hours later, realizing it is his last first day of school at the College, Will heads home for a long nap. On our way out, he heads toward his car, offering me a carefree piggy back ride. I accept and after a fun few minutes, we part ways feeling like freshmen.