JORDYN WAINSCOTT ’22: HOW ONE OWL GIVES BACK THROUGH O-WEEK

JORDYN WAINSCOTT ’22 (WILL RICE)
Psychology major

Like many Owls before her, senior Jordyn Wainscott fell in love with Rice after a campus tour. Knowing that she would need a full scholarship to attend college, she became even more enamored after learning about The Rice Investment, the university’s generous financial aid policy.

She then wrote a personal letter to the Rice admissions office. “In the letter, I included a long list of reasons why I would belong at Rice,” Jordyn remembers. “But most importantly, I promised that I would not take any opportunity for granted and that I would give back to the school and my fellow students in return for Rice’s investment in my education.”

Knowing that she would receive a generous financial aid package filled her with a sense of purpose and a desire to go the extra mile.

“There are so many students out there who are like me, who are smart and are passionate about learning, and who deserve that chance at an amazing education,” Jordyn explains. “I just needed Rice to understand that I was a perfect fit to be an Owl.”

Later in her senior year of high school, Jordyn learned that she would be joining the Rice Class of 2022 with a generous scholarship in hand. The joy she felt in attending her dream school only intensified after arriving on campus for O-Week in the fall of 2018, when she experienced a warm welcome into college life and made fast friends with other Will Ricers.

“I promised that I would not take any opportunity for granted and that I would give back to the school and my fellow students in return for Rice’s investment in my education.”

“O-Week is one of the most important Rice traditions, I think, because every single Rice Owl to walk through the Sallyport takes part in it,” she says. “There’s so much beauty in the diversity of the student body, but this is one experience that we can all share — we’ll have that connection forever.”

As Jordyn’s freshman O-Week culminated with a Will Rice gathering on a beach in Galveston, she took the opportunity to reflect on the promise she made in her admissions letter. She realized that becoming an O-Week coordinator would be a perfect way to support her classmates and the school.

Though she was unable to get involved with O-Week as a sophomore due to the always high number of applicants, this bump-in-the-road didn't hinder her drive. In fact, she was so determined to become a coordinator the next year that the Will Rice Executive Council amended the by-laws so that she and others would qualify without previous experience.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and Jordyn and her fellow coordinators quickly changed their plans to align with the university’s COVID guidelines. “We all felt badly that this new class wouldn’t get to experience the exact same O-Week that Rice is famous for, but we were determined that the new class of students would feel just as welcomed into our Rice family,” Jordyn notes.

“My dream is to get a master’s in higher education administration and work at a university. I hope that Rice, and all of our amazing donors, will feel that they were right to believe in my potential.”

Now a senior, Jordyn recently served as one of two student directors over the entire O-Week staff for the fall 2021 semester. “Being a director is a vastly different role than being an advisor or coordinator,” Jordyn says. “But I know all of the behind-the-scenes work we put into it helped our 1,300 new students have an amazing O-Week.”

After she leaves Rice, Jordyn wants to use her psychology degree to work in higher education and continue to be involved in creating a rich social environment for college students. “My dream is to get a master’s in higher education administration and work at a university,” Jordyn remarks. “I hope that Rice, and all of our amazing donors, will feel that they were right to believe in my potential.”

With generous support of the Rice Annual Fund, the university continues offer Jordyn and other Owls the best in residential college life, student activities, teaching and research. Learn more about how your gift to the Rice Annual Fund can make an impact.

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