With a chunk of paper and a Crayon, a younger Madeleine Mayhew jotted down a sentence that might information her selections via elementary college, center college, highschool and, finally, faculty.
It was scrawled throughout a Sunday college class when a instructor requested Mayhew and different youngsters to make a promise – in writing.
Some youngsters promised to make their mattress. Others promised to brush their tooth, or to be good to their siblings.
Mayhew wrote, “I promise to like my life.”
“It was like, ‘Wow, the place did that come from?’” recalled Elizabeth Mayhew, Madeleine’s mom. “However that has form of all the time been her mantra.”
It’s what led Mayhew, a standout squash participant from New York Metropolis, to the College of Virginia.
Mayhew sought a university the place college students appeared to have a superb work-life stability. A faculty the place she wouldn’t really feel certain by conventional diploma necessities. And a faculty with a extremely aggressive squash program.
4 years later, the Echols Scholar mentioned she succeeded on all counts.
“I feel the cool factor about UVA is you actually really feel a way of affection of the varsity once you’re right here,” mentioned Mayhew, sitting close to a courtroom at UVA’s McArthur Squash Middle this week. “That was one thing I needed explicitly for my faculty expertise. I needed to really feel like everybody was actually joyful on the college they have been at.
“Throughout my 4 years, I’ve had the possibility to go to buddies at numerous establishments across the nation and even internationally, and I’ve by no means felt that one other college comes even near the sense of uniform happiness that I see at UVA. And when my buddies go to me right here, they’re fully in awe of how completely balanced everybody appears between college, social and, for me, squash.”
UVA head coach Mark Allen mentioned he feels past lucky that Mayhew – whom he had handed over through the recruiting course of in favor of different gamers – got here to UVA anyway.
“I can really say that had Maddie not ended up right here and on this crew, it might have been the only greatest mistake of my teaching profession,” he mentioned.
Mayhew is an Echols Scholar double-majoring in public coverage and management and historical past. (Photograph by Pete Emerson, UVA Athletics)
As a co-captain this season, Mayhew helped lead this system – now in its second 12 months as a varsity sport –to a remaining rating of No. 11 within the nation, up two spots from final season.
Allen mentioned Mayhew’s “infectious persona” lifted not solely gamers’ spirits repeatedly, however even his personal.
In a match in opposition to Bates School when she was a first-year, Mayhew performed via an sickness (later identified as mononucleosis) in main UVA’s membership crew to one in every of its greatest wins.
“It’s not a second I might ask any of my gamers to emulate,” Allen mentioned, “however I take advantage of it now as an ideal illustration of simply how a lot of herself Maddie has been keen to present.”
“Maddie places the emotional well-being of others earlier than herself, which may take a severe toll on most individuals,” mentioned co-captain Annie Tyson, “however Maddie met the problem each day with unimaginable poise.”
Mayhew, who attended Phillips Academy Andover in Massachusetts, places the identical form of effort into her lecturers. As an incoming first-year, she was accepted as an Echols Scholar.
“I’ve all the time felt like a real scholar-athlete right here, not an athlete-scholar,” Mayhew mentioned. “I’m in school for college, and squash has truly been what’s supported me in class. I all the time do higher in class when I’ve squash.”
It was with that in thoughts that Mayhew determined to pursue an bold tutorial plan.
Confronted with a alternative between a serious within the Frank Batten College of Management and Public Coverage and the Distinguished Majors Program inside the Corcoran Division of Historical past within the School of Arts & Sciences – each of which she had been accepted into – Mayhew determined to do … each.
“Batten is de facto forward-looking – loads of it is considering coverage over the subsequent 25 years and what shall be vital to our generations – whereas historical past is trying behind and form of inspecting cycles and processes and the way they could be repeated sooner or later,” Mayhew defined. “And so once you mix the 2 collectively, I feel it presents a extremely fascinating perspective as to why issues are the way in which they’re proper now, and whether or not they’ll repeat themselves in a barely totally different iteration.”
Mayhew lately accomplished a 108-page historical past thesis on sisters Sarah Moore Grimké and Angelina Grimké, the one identified white Southern ladies to have been part of the abolitionist motion. “Most historians say that ladies’s rights have been based in 1848 by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and numerous different ladies’s rights advocates at Seneca Falls,” Mayhew mentioned. “My thesis makes the argument that that’s false.”
Mayhew mentioned double-majoring labored out completely.
“When writing a thesis, what’s vital is clarifying your analysis query,” Mayhew mentioned. “If I hadn’t had among the abilities in Batten, I might not have been ready to do this.
“Batten teaches you not simply qualitative abilities, however quantitative abilities. So that you do statistics, you do economics, however at the very same time you actually learn to write and ask questions and tips on how to construction your writing in a means that’s clear, concise, to the purpose, argumentative. I feel, greater than something, you study to ask the laborious questions, that are abilities which might be instantly translatable to historical past and writing a thesis.”
“I feel the cool factor about UVA is you actually really feel a way of affection of the varsity once you’re right here” – Madeleine Mayhew
Whereas Mayhew mentioned she will be able to’t put a worth on the issues she’s realized within the classroom, her experiences exterior of UVA have been simply as useful. She has had summer time internships with Us Weekly, an Ariana Huffington start-up firm referred to as Thrive International and Bloomberg Media. Mayhew mentioned the internships have proven her what she could, and – simply as importantly – could not need to pursue in the way in which of careers following commencement.
“In all three of the experiences, I liked the folks I labored for,” mentioned Mayhew, who sat in on conferences with Huffington the summer time after her second 12 months. “I acquired to interview among the most unimaginable folks I’ve ever met, together with Kevin Rudd, Larry Summers and Kai-Fu Lee. It was only a nice mixture between coverage, historical past and journalism.”
Journalism runs within the household. Elizabeth Mayhew labored for quite a lot of magazines – together with REAL SIMPLE, Home Lovely, Southern Dwelling and Lady’s Day – and now contributes as a life-style professional for NBC’s “At present” present and writes columns for the Washington Publish.
“She’s been such a job mannequin for me in tips on how to handle every part concurrently,” Madeleine Mayhew mentioned. “She’s simply an unimaginable instance of somebody who can seemingly do all of it. I’ve all the time strove to emulate that in no matter I do.”
Elizabeth Mayhew is thrilled her daughter selected UVA.
“I might inform you a billion instances over that UVA was not solely the proper place for her, however that it completely exceeded each her expectations and our expectations in each means,” she mentioned. “The one factor I say to individuals who ask me about UVA is that’s has so many fascinating applications. I feel folks come down and take a look at the campus and take a look at the entire, however they don’t take a look at the elements. I feel it’s the elements of UVA that make it so fascinating. There are simply so many unimaginable choices with incredible school.”
Whereas Madeleine is hoping to work for Bloomberg after she graduates, Elizabeth Mayhew would similar to every part her daughter does transferring ahead to hint again to that fateful sentence she wrote down in Sunday college.
“All of us spend an excessive amount of time working to not be actually pleased with what we’re doing. … I simply hope she loves no matter she does.”