Whitney Lewis is Vice President of Enrollment Management and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Oglethorpe.
“What happened was, my wonderful husband called me at work one day, and he was at the Humane Society. And he said, ‘Baby, would you be mad if we had a dog?’ and I said, ‘is this a hypothetical situation or not?’ and he’s like, ‘okay, well, I don’t have a car here, so you need to come down and pick me and the dog up.’ He had scooted there on his little scooter.
And so, we impromptu adopted a dog. Scoutie is so cute. She is two years old, and a mutt. She’s probably, like, a pit bull mix. She is not smart, but she’s so perfect and she’s so cute, and she always reminds me that we should all just be walking outside, wagging our tails and smelling the flowers. That’s all there is to it.
Actually, this part is embarrassing. We thought about a bunch of names, and I love to read—I even studied English because I am such a nerd and I love to read. That’s really as far as I got in terms of my professional planning, is that I love to read and I love to write, so that’s what I wanted to study. And To Kill A Mockingbird is a classic, of course, and I loved the name Scout. And it also just seemed to fit her. We thought we were being so original, and were really patting ourselves on the back about it. Then, when I dropped her off at doggie daycare for the first time, the woman was like, ‘oh, Scout. We have eight other Scouts.’ And I was like, ah, so it seems I am not so original.
I have a couple of tattoos. The one that’s mostly visible is on my arm. People always think it’s the Creation of Adam, the Michelangelo painting, which honestly I don’t hate, but it’s not actually supposed to be that. It’s just hands. I love this idea of reaching out for connection, and even if you can’t actually feel someone there, knowing that people are never far out of reach. But that you have to make the effort, and you have to be reaching out. So I like that idea of two hands almost touching. I really like that one.
And then I have some words that say “This is it.” I really like that phrase—it’s “this is it”, and an exclamation point—because I like that it’s all a matter of perception. You can say, “this is…it.” and have it seem deflated, or like you’re settling for something. Or, the exact same phrase—like, “this is it!”, can mean that you’re seizing the opportunity, and the moment, and that it is the only place to be. I really like that—an image of how you have one body, one life, and one opportunity to make things count.
We have a neon sign that says it, too—I got the tattoo first, neon sign second. But that’s the motto. This is it! It’s like a better YOLO. Don’t print that. A healthy YOLO. Constructive YOLO.”