Walker Mogen ’17 makes the most of his time, thanks to scholarship support.Sometimes, a student’s family connection to Davidson makes it an obvious addition to the list of college options. And sometimes, it results in more questions than answers.
Walker Mogen ’17, from Radford, Virginia, wasn’t looking to follow in the footsteps of his mother, Florence Hart Mogen ’83, or older brother, William ’15. He was focused on the University of Virginia or the College of William & Mary, but he went ahead and scheduled an overnight visit to Davidson, too—because, why not?
“Davidson really surprised me a lot,” says Mogen, “and after learning about possible scholarship opportunities, I actually decided to apply early decision. It’s kind of funny that it ended up as the only school on my list.”
The history major is a member of the men’s track and cross country team and was selected for the prestigious Lowell L. Bryan Scholarship, an award for top scholar-athletes.
Despite his full plate and overflowing to-do list—the way of life for Division I athletes at Davidson—Mogen has done his best to take advantage of opportunities on campus and around the world.
“I’ve been reminded, time and time again, that I’ll never again be in this exact setting, surrounded by so many smart, young people, and I’m trying to cherish it,” he says.
This past summer, Mogen received a Davidson Research Initiative grant to examine slave criminality as a bargaining tool enslaved people could use to gain an advantage from slaveholders and work to control their own fates within the oppressive slave system. He conducted his project under the mentorship of Professor of History John Wertheimer.
“Being able to conduct research on campus over the summer allowed me to train effectively,” says Mogen. “It was also a really great experience to work with a professor one-on-one. I was always told the close student-professor relationships at Davidson were special, but I thought that was exaggerated. It wasn’t.”
During the summer of 2015, he traveled around England and Scotland with other Davidson students through the Cambridge Program. Mogen cites the humanities course, taken his first two years at Davidson, as a stand-out among his wide-ranging curricular and co-curricular activities.
“I feel like the humanities program is exemplary of a liberal arts education,” he says. “It was the most amazing thing.”
Mogen has learned a great deal about himself during his time at Davidson, but he hasn’t yet figured out his post-Davidson plans. He knows the many lessons he’ll take from alma mater will set him up for success, wherever he ends up.
“I’ve learned through my courses and experiences at Davidson that things are often more complicated than they seem, and there’s always more to learn,” he says. “I’ve also learned that if I want to do something, there are more often than not people willing to help me do it, especially at Davidson, and that, even when it doesn’t seem like it, things have a way of working out.”
Scholarships brought seniors Gloria Nlewedim and Walker Mogen to Davidson. Fifty percent of the Game Changers: Inspiring Leaders to Transform the World campaign is aimed at making Davidson an option for exceptional students from across the country and around the world. Visit www.davidson.edu/gamechangers to read stories of Davidson game changers and to learn more about the priorities of the campaign.