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Christine Pajewski Kegelman

What did you do when you were a student at UVA?

As an undergraduate, I held many leadership positions across all realms of the University. I am a member of the 2014 Class Trustees and served as a co-chair for the 2014 Class Giving Campaign in which our class reached an unprecedented 81% participation rate. I also led the Virginia Women’s Club Water Polo team as captain for two years, and served as recruitment chair and chapter president of Alpha Chi Omega. Additionally, I interned with the office of the Board of Visitors and the Virginia Athletics Foundation, served on the committee to plan Lighting of the Lawn, and worked Reunions weekend.

What is your favorite UVA memory?

My time at UVA coincided with the rise of UVA men’s basketball. I’m a huge college sports fan and traveled to a number of ACC and NCAA tournament games. One of my favorite experiences was the game against Coastal Carolina. It was way too close for comfort and the whole building was cheering against us, but the team remain focused and pulled out a win. My favorite recent UVA memory was road tripping to Minneapolis for the Final Four. My husband and I drove 17 hours in a day and had the best time with friends that weekend. I think the Auburn game took years off my life, but it was such a beautiful moment of perseverance, focus and pure joy. 

In your opinion, what is the legacy of women on UVA?

Like Maria from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” said, “the man is the head, but the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants.” I think this applies perfectly to the legacy of women on UVA. Women may have not always been permitted the same experiences at UVA as men, but they were integral to the founding, sustaining and overall success of this institution. 

If you could impart a piece of advice to a female student on Grounds today, what would you tell her?

Learn how to say no. You will meet amazing people, learn new things, and experience life in a whole new environment. With all this freedom, take control and realize you can’t say yes to every invite, leadership role or request. Say yes often, but make sure you focus on your holistic personal development.