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Fleet White III '08

Broad Experiences, Many Possibilities

Despite only being with Mercersburg for a postgraduate year before joining the Navy, Fleet White III '08 was remarkably involved in the campus community as a student, and is now a practicing lawyer in Washington, D.C. 

During his time at Mercersburg, White was involved in various extracurricular activities, as well as Mercersburg-exclusive events such as Irving-Marshall Week. Being new to Mercersburg and its traditions, White dove in and took a chance at Irving-Marshall Declamation. He was an Irving Society declaimer and "had a blast!" Giving credit to his name, White was also on the varsity track & field team, among other sports. In 2008, he was the 400-meter hurdle Mid-Atlantic Prep League (MAPL) champion in outdoor track. When evaluating the changes to campus since the time he was a student, White has been amazed at all the new structures that were nonexistent during his time, such as the Hale Field House: "The indoor track is incredible… and is a beautiful complex." 

While immersing himself in all that Mercersburg allowed him to experience, he won a series of academic awards, showcasing his wit and hard work. These prizes included the President's Education Award, William Paul Buchanan Prize-Religion, and the William C. Heilman Prize (English Composition).

Though he cherishes all that Mercersburg has to offer, he feels the teachers and friends he met along the way hold a special place in his heart and have played a significant role in his life. Dave Holzwarth '78, P '11, '13, a current science faculty member, is one of many individuals whom White recognizes as a mentor during his time on campus. "I appreciated all the time that every teacher put in to help me," he says. He also feels he gained valuable life skills in various science classes, ranging from chemistry to physics, that he used to fulfill Navy requirements. He notes that the relationships he formed with teachers and friends at Mercersburg have lasted well beyond his time as a student, and have given him people to lean on now and into the future. 

After Mercersburg, White went on to spend seven years in the Navy. During those years, he served as a submarine officer, a secretary of the Navy White House liaison officer, a Navy senate liaison officer, among others. Eventually, he decided his path needed to change course. White had determination and passion and the drive to become a lawyer. After attending the University of Chicago Law School, he is now an associate at Covington & Burling LLP.

Through his story and achievements, he assures others that there is not a singular path in life that you have to take: "There is some time in your life where you may need to make a seemingly big change that can really be scary at the time, but it's worth just diving in and going for it."

  • Living the Values