Wilma Lewis '78
Chief U.S. District Judge of the District Court of the Virgin Islands
“Perhaps it was the personal interest in my development shown by members of the administration. Assistant Dean Janet Dickerson, for example, always found time to invite my roommate and me into her office just to chat-sometimes for hours-when she saw us wandering the halls of Parrish during our freshman year.
“Maybe the courage to reach to the outer limits of my capabilities was fostered by the extremely high academic standards to which we were held by our incredibly talented faculty and the gentle prodding to go even beyond from such people as Associate Provost Gil Stott, whose words of encouragement led to my application for a Rhodes Scholarship.
“Perhaps it was the stimulating discussions-both in and out of the classroom-among the intellectually gifted students, which taught me to appreciate the diversity of opinions while also valuing my own individual contribution.
“Possibly, my sense of self was fueled by the opportunity to celebrate and share the African American heritage at a predominantly white institution through membership in the Swarthmore College Gospel Choir, which performed to standing-room-only crowds at the Friends Meetinghouse and whose members were always made to feel very special-both individually and collectively-by the undying support of our most loyal fan, Ann Geer, a College employee.” More