Billy Daly '16
Environmental Studies and Economics Double Major
The first time Billy Daly came to Goucher it was pouring rain, and he was absolutely convinced he didn’t want to enroll here. He didn’t even want to go on the tour that was scheduled the next day. But his mom — who sounds like a reasonable woman — said they were already here and might as well go.
It was still raining the next day, but Daly had a really great tour experience. “The guide was phenomenal and really made me love it,” he says. “Then I fell in love with Goucher more every time I came back.”
Daly believes selecting a college is one of the few important choices young people can make based primarily on gut instinct. “You can rationalize through the decision, but when it comes down to it, you have to feel like you belong on campus,” he says.
He recognizes that his tour experience passed that gut-test and was really transformational in leading him to Goucher and the wide array of possibilities here. “For me, the vibe at Goucher was very welcoming, and the student body was really passionate, which is what I was looking for. It really encouraged me to get involved in things so early,” he says.
Right away he became an ambassador with the Office of Admissions and likes being able to help students have the same kind of ah-ha college tour experience he had here. He also joined the Orientation Committee — “I love having a hand in kick-starting other students’ college careers. I want to help them get involved early, too” he says.
Not yet an upperclassman, Daly already has his own full roster of activities and responsibilities on campus. He serves as the Class of 2016 president and works very hard to reflect the interests of students and encourage them to get to know one another and forge their class identity.
He characterizes his classmates as friendly and engaged. “There’s definitely a lot of passion in our class, and it just takes a group of students to try to harness that and turn it into something that’s good. In student council, you have a platform to use students’ interests and channel that passion into collective action.”
Collective action for the greater good is also the mission behind the Roosevelt Institute, a nationwide initiative that engages young people in progressive activism to empower them as leaders and promote their ideas for change. Daly joined this group on campus to take good public policy ideas and put them into action. “Even though you’re a student and you’re still learning, you can still be an expert in your field of interest and help change things,” he says.
A leader and a doer, Daly helped create the Goucher Renewable Agriculture Initiative (GRAIN) with Todd Troester ’15 and Jordan Javelet ’16 to maintain and expand the college’s community garden over the summer so its supporters don’t have to start over every fall, negating the work they did in the spring. He believes this program will help preserve the garden, but also promote the sustainability of Goucher’s environmental clubs — the Goucher Energy Action Revolution (GEAR), the Campus Agriculture Co-op, and Earthworks.
GRAIN already has the support of the Goucher Environmental Sustainability Advisory Council, and it received generous financial backing from an Innovation Grant to support the initiative’s first year. Its members are also selling the food they grow to Bon Appétit, Goucher’s food services provider, to fund the program moving forward. “We want to expand our role and make it so it reflects the goals of the whole community,” Daly says.
He very much values Goucher’s community and the principles it holds dear. “My first impression about Goucher was a great sense of community. It’s a small, close-knit community, but it’s really open, and we’re always accepting of new students and anyone who wants to come and join,” Daly says.
He adds, “No one is afraid to be themselves and to be themselves loudly at Goucher. And while we’re such a diverse community, our diversity brings us together. That’s what I love about Goucher. That’s what stands out most about it to anyone who comes here.”