Kathy Thorton ‘13 now works for the College as program and intern coordinator of the Custom’s House.
Photo by Katie Despeaux

By Michael Harman
Senior Writer

This is the fifth in a series that the Student Life section has begun. A different member of the Washington College Community that has since graduated and returned to WC will be featured. These people may be teachers, faculty, coaches, etc, but all have a story to tell and have many things to say about their time here at the College.

For most college students, it is hard to find a path to follow in life. You are put in a position in which you have to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. But then there are the select few that realize it is best to do what makes you happy and what you are passionate about.

2013 graduate Kathy Thornton lives by these words, since during her college years, she “wanted to major in almost everything. I had so many interests that it was so hard for me to decide,” she said.

A History and Environmental Studies major, Thornton was co-president of the Student Environmental Alliance, president of the Cater Society as well as a member of the History Society. All in all, these were great excuses to get out and explore, whether out hiking or in the student garden she helped create.

Even after graduation, Thornton was upset that she would be leaving a school where the faculty and staff “felt like family.” Then she was offered a job at the Custom’s House as the program and intern coordinator. Essentially, Thornton is in charge of bringing in guest speakers, as well as creating events geared toward the Custom’s House.

So far, Thornton said that “everything has come along at the right time, leading me here. Though, I have learned not to plan everything so far in advance because things change, and who knows where I will be in the future.”

Though she did enjoy college and the fact that classes were more discussion-based, it was different after she graduated. Thorton said, “I could actually go to lectures and listen to what they were saying. I did not have to worry about the paper I had to write for my class.”

Thanks to Dr. John Siedel, Thornton was given a job at the Custom’s House. Since he was her thesis advisor, he went to Thornton to fill the position. She is very grateful for this job since she would love nothing more than to stay in Chestertown a little while longer.

However, she said, “I won’t stay here for too much longer. I am actually not quite sure what I will be doing after this but I have thought about going to grad school.”

Thornton said that she has realized how much she enjoys learning, so the future may include a master’s degree in education.

In the meantime, here at the Custom’s House, Thornton has learned “a great deal of information about logistics, communications, and non-profit work.” She even got over her fear of public speaking.

“I am comfortable here and that is what is important: to be comfortable wherever you are,” she said.

In addition to Thornton’s advice, she says to volunteer as much as you can. “By volunteering, you are finding different ways to get involved,” said Thornton. “I also think it is important to get to know the faculty and staff, since they can become like a family to you, making sure you get all the help you deserve.”

The Elm

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