Douglas Herlong graduated from Wardlaw Academy in 2012. William graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2016 where he majored in religious studies and minored in communication studies. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. For Douglas, it was both exciting and challenging to transition from Wardlaw to college as he grew up in Johnston and attended Wardlaw since kindergarten. Now was the time for him to step away from what he was comfortable with and embrace the Clemson environment. Herlong says, “I think the opportunity to move away and develop independently with new people is a worthwhile experience for anybody.” Wardlaw Academy taught Douglas the fundamental lessons that are crucial in college while providing a close community with teachers and coaches who took time to get to know us, teach us, and invest in our lives. He learned that commitment and self-discipline are the keys to success while never neglecting the quality of your character.
Douglas’s advice to future Wardlaw graduates that are preparing for college is, “You’ve got a four-year period carved out to become educated and articulate. Be sure to make the best of it. Find good professors who both inspire and challenge you to develop your area of study. Develop good friendships with people who will push you and want the best for you. Know that if you take time to learn how to think critically, write well, and do good research, you will be amazed at what you’re capable of. Know that you will make mistakes and have many challenges ahead, but there’s always grace and opportunities to grow yourself. Lastly, enjoy this time! College was an amazing experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. So be excited, stretch your horizons and have fun!”
One of Douglas’s favorite memories from Wardlaw was his time in sports, particularly football. Winning the State Championship was an incredible time, and he still thinks back to it every now and then. Douglas says, “It taught me what hard work, dedication and working with others could accomplish. The many lessons we learned through our coaches translated into many different aspects of my life. I still cherish the friendships I had through my time at Wardlaw, many of which still continue to today.”