For the Win: A Q&A with Paul Rowley '17, J.D. '20
Paul, tell us a little about yourself and where you are today?
I was born and raised in Loudoun County, Va. I came to William & Mary on a basketball scholarship and finished my undergraduate degrees in computer science and finance in three years. I am currently a captain of the basketball team and in my second semester of law school.
What was your fondest William & Mary memory?
It's hard to distinguish a single "fondest" memory at William & Mary; I've met and grown close with so many great people over my time here. Sunday workouts with Sean Sheldon '16 are up there though. Sean was a team captain, and added an education major his senior year that required him to student teach during season. He was incredibly busy between his academic and athletic endeavors. But he never complained, always gave his best effort, and was always willing to get in the gym with me for extra workouts. Sean helped me grow as a player, and as a man, and I can't thank him enough for that.
How did philanthropy impact your undergraduate experience?
Without such generous alumni, my undergraduate experience would have been dramatically different. Without my basketball scholarship, it would have been unlikely for me to attend W&M. I can't and don't want to imagine a life where I didn't receive my education at this school.
Can you describe how your relationship with the Tribe has grown from freshman year to now?
When I came to school as a freshman, I was honored and excited to join the Tribe, as a student and an athlete. It was a culmination of the hard work I had put in throughout high school in and out of the classroom. Over my years here, I've had the opportunity to find interests outside of basketball. I've grown and changed in a number of ways, but I still feel just as honored and excited to wear green and gold on game day.
What compels you to give back to W&M?
Because others have given, I was able to pursue my intellectual interests without having to stress about dollars and cents. Because others have given, I will come out of school debt free with three degrees. It is because of others I am in the position to live the life I want; this is a special place, and I hope to provide that opportunity to others going forward.
Why do you think that young alumni as a community support W&M?
I think young alumni support W&M because they realize how much this place has done for them, and how much their donations matter! W&M raised over $3 million this past year just from small donations. They make a difference.
With March Madness in full swing, what is your favorite part of being a student-athlete at William & Mary?
The best part of being a student-athlete at W&M is the community. My family and I have developed relationships with and grown close with a number of local families. The people of Williamsburg, specifically the fans of W&M sports, have been so wonderful to meet and interact with. It's an honor to play for such a supportive community.
What would you like President Reveley to know about your experience at William & Mary as a student and alumnus?
If I could say anything to President Reveley about my experience here, I would only say, "thank you." Thank you for providing me an environment to flourish in. Thank you for encouraging me to pursue my legal education without giving up my athletic commitment. The best decision I ever made was joining the Tribe.