Maya Nylund smiles, holding gradation cap.

Majors: English, art history; film and media studies minor 

Co-curriculars: Staff writer, The Lafayette; Conversation PARDner and English for Academic Purposes (EAP) tutor, Academic Resource Hub; International Orientation Leader; Leo; member and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion chair, Kappa Kappa Gamma; student research assistant, Department of Art History; Digital Humanities Summer Scholar, Lafayette Libraries; Pre-Orientation Service Program (POSP); Alpha Phi Omega

Post-graduation plans: Working as a client management associate at StoneX, a financial services company, in Warren, N.J.

What’s the most important thing you learned at Lafayette?

Enjoy the present moment. Though they are oft-repeated words of wisdom, as the Class of 2023’s college experience was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and our futures appeared temporarily suspended, it made the time I shared with my classmates when we were finally able to return to campus all the more precious. As I reunited with my friends, mentors, and the campus, I became much more cognizant of how special the connectedness that arises from Lafayette’s residential structure and its small community is. This transition and the unwavering love and support of those around me also helped me to understand how stress and self-induced pressure distract from the moment, and I have been making a conscious effort to be more present ever since. 

What one lesson or memory from Lafayette will remain with you for the rest of your life?

Hearing the speech given by Tanuja Majumdar Dehne ’93 during this year’s Honors Convocation. The convocation was held about three weeks before graduation, so it was already in the back of my mind. One of the first things that Dehne said in her speech was that she was ‘coming home,’ which became a recurring thread throughout her speech. As one of her final remarks, she said: ‘You’re ready, and you can always come home, right back home, to Lafayette College.’ I moved often as a teenager, attending three high schools in three different countries, and there are few things that have been as much of a constant for me or that have felt like home the way that Lafayette has. Dehne’s speech reminded me of the circularity of relationships. It allowed me to realize that though I am no longer an undergraduate at Lafayette, I can always return and become involved in the community in other capacities: a comforting thought as I prepared to leave the College. 

What advice would you give to high school students who are considering Lafayette?

I used to be an Admissions ambassador at Lafayette, and at the end of tours, I would give groups my answer to the question: ‘Why Lafayette?’ I would tell them that I toured a variety of colleges in my senior year of high school and that I felt my experiences at many were impersonal and undergirded by disinterest, with many schools exuding an attitude of, ‘You are so lucky to be here.’ When I came to Lafayette, I felt immediately enveloped by warmth and hospitality, and the attitude instead felt like one of recognition and celebration—more along the lines of, ‘We are so lucky to have you here.’ I chose to attend the college that I felt had chosen me, and I cannot imagine a more rewarding college experience. I feel so blessed that Lafayette is the home I will always return to, and I hope that wherever you choose to go to college, you can similarly envision it as your forever home.

Student Spotlight

Meet the 2023 valedictorians

Congratulations to these 15 academic stars, who are poised to take on the world and make a difference across a gamut of professional fields.

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Categorized in: Academic News, Art, Class of 2023, Commencement 2023, English, Film and Media Studies, News and Features, Student Profiles, Students

1 Comment

  1. Steve Nylund says:

    Congratulations! We are very proud of you Maya!! Pappa

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