Lily Clancy sits by the Mill Stream on Willamette's Campus.

A Conversation with Lily Clancy BA'22

Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

How did you find your way to Willamette?

I had an amazing biology teacher in high school and her daughter actually went to Willamette. I would talk to her and she knew that I wanted to go into science and be woman in science. And so she really encouraged me.

I got the STEM scholarship from Willamette the first year that we had that program. When I went to visit my senior year, I just had the best time on campus.

What experience at Willamette had the greatest impact on you?

My favorite classes from my four years was my college colloquium on American medicine. The class made me think so much and inspired me to write a colloquium grant.

I went to the Netherlands that summer. And I interviewed Syrian refugees and Dutch healthcare providers there. It was the most wild and cool experience that I could be paid to travel and interview people and do something that I cared about. That shaped the rest of my college experience.

When I got back and I starting writing about the trip, I had a sense of empowerment. I thought "If I did this, I can do anything."

What impact has financial support had on your time at Willamette?

Willamette was only an option because of the STEM scholarship and the other financial aid that I received. I've been able to do research projects during the summer because of they're funded. At Willamette, I've been able to do things that I'm excited and passionate about

Learn More About the Difference You Made for Lily

When Lily Clancy BA’22 enrolled in a course about access to American medicine during her first semester at Willamette, she had no idea where it was about to take her.

A STEM Scholarship recipient and a Ralph E. Purvine pre-med scholar, Lily already knew she wanted to study science and advocate for women in her field. But this course opened the door to something completely unexpected.

Olin Science Center

My professor was phenomenal and that class was so amazing. It inspired me to write the colloquium grant for the summer after my first year,” Lily explain. She got the grant and went to the Netherlands to interview Syrian refugees and Dutch healthcare providers about their experiences.

This research — unique for a first-year student — was intimidating at first, but it gave Lily a sense of empowerment for what came next. A scholarship from the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation gave her additional momentum on her journey.

Narrowing In on Her Niche

As a junior, she took another class that sparked her curiosity: this time, it was a course about global health and the environment, and it led to a Carson Grant to study cultural competence training for medical students at the Oregon Health and Sciences University.

Lily Clancy riding a bike on campus

Lily credits the Willamette community for helping her evolve from a high school student with an interest in medicine to a graduating senior with a clear focus on the intersection between human experience and healthcare. Now she plans to apply to medical school so she can put everything she learned at Willamette into practice caring for patients.

“Everyone here is passionate about something and excited to help each other pursue their passions,” Lily says. When she says “everyone,” she means her peers and professors — and of course, you.

You Made it Possible

Because of you, Willamette was feasible for Lily and her family. “I've been able to do things that I'm excited and passionate about,” Lily says. “It's cool to know how much Willamette means to other people who have such deep roots here — and to be able to benefit from that.”

Your commitment to Willamette has helped this young woman in science find herself and live her dream.

Thank you for giving her this life-changing gift.

Read more stories about how Willamette's exceptional students, faculty and alumni are turning knowledge into action on our news page.

Lily Clancy BA'22

“It's cool to know how much Willamette means to other people who have such deep roots here — and to be able to benefit from that.”

Willamette University

Alumni and Parent Engagement

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-375-5304 voice
503-370-6830 fax

Back to Top