David Finnegan-Hosey

Class of 2007
Major/Minor: B.A. International Studies (Middle East and North Africa) with a minor in Philosophy

This is maybe a bit of a cliche, but a liberal arts education is designed to teach you to think instead of telling you what to think.

How has your liberal arts education influenced you? How do you apply your LAE in your current career?

This is maybe a bit of a cliche, but a liberal arts education is designed to teach you to think instead of telling you what to think. There have been a lot of different ways that I’ve benefited from my time at Washington College; but, by far the most important thing I gained from my liberal arts education was a comfort with questions and ambiguity. Now I work with college students in the field of spiritual life – I’m a chaplain at American University. And instead of rushing to easy answers (there aren’t any), we’re able to create a space where students can question, doubt, and grow into their own understanding of the world. Growing up, I was a bit of a know-it-all. WAC helped me learn to ask better questions.

Who was your favorite faculty member?

Dr. Christine Wade. She walked into the first day of Intro to Poli Sci and I was sitting in the front row (see previous comment about being a know-it-all) with a Clash t-shirt on. And she looked at me and said, “I have London Calling on vinyl.” That’s probably about 50% why I ended up an International Studies major. (The other 50% being that I wanted to bring about world peace, or something). 

In all seriousness, Dr. Wade taught me one of the most important lessons of my life. I was trying to explain my idea for my senior thesis, and she kept asking, “What’s the story that you’re telling?” It has become one of my favorite questions whenever I sit down to write anything, whether it’s a paper or a sermon or a blog post. What’s the story here? What’s the narrative that’s worth sharing with the world? It’s a great question.

What is your favorite Washington College memory?

That’s tough. A lot of fantastic memories with a lot of fantastic people. I’d probably have to say that just the general experience of living in Middle Hall is my favorite conglomerate of memories. We were such a quirky bunch of weirdos and there was always music and art being made. It was a magical sort of place.

Campus Involvement

We rebooted the Coalition for Peace and Social Justice. There was the Musician’s Union and Open Mic Nights. There was Everything But the Music, still the best band in the world. Toward the end of my time at WAC I got a bit more involved with the Campus Christian Fellowship. I helped edit the International Studies Review three years in a row and served as an officer for the Douglass Cater Society of Junior Fellows.

And of course, there were the plays. I actually ran back from the riverfront my freshman year because I decided at the last minute to try out for Suburbia, and then I ended up being in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Fall, Quake, and Metamorphoses.

Graduate School

M.Div, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC.