Camacho, Clark to highlight the power of WashU community

Graduating senior Sarah Del Carmen Camacho and alumnus Lee Clark will address the class of 2023 during the Arts & Sciences Recognition Ceremony.

Student Speaker: Sarah Del Carmen Camacho

Sarah Del Carmen Camacho

From the moment she arrived at WashU, global studies and educational studies major Sarah Del Carmen Camacho felt supported by a community of students. 

“I came in as a Rodriguez Scholar, which gave me a cohort that I could relate to and be in community with,” she said. “Whenever we had to push our expectations of ourselves, it was so helpful to know that we were all going through it together.”

Through her membership in this community and many others across campus, Camacho came to see her relationships with other students as foundational sources of knowledge and growth.  

“Some of the most interesting learning I've done at WashU was just from speaking to people and developing relationships with them,” she said. “I've met so many beautiful people who really care about the things that they study.”

In her address to the class of 2023, Camacho plans to discuss the rich variety of perspectives Arts & Sciences students bring to campus. “Every person I've met here has something special that they want to dedicate their time to.”

Camacho has spent significant time connecting with and highlighting the diverse knowledge of her fellow students. In positions including Mellon Mays Undergraduate fellow and community engagement chair for the Association of Latin American Students, she has approached leadership with humility and an open mind. 

“The most important thing to me as a leader is that everyone feels their presence to be as important as anyone else’s,” she said. “If they choose to use their voice, it will be heard.”

After graduation, Camacho will bring her leadership skills to the prestigious James C. Gaither Junior Fellows Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she looks forward to developing new relationships with her cohort. “What I really care about is the way that the world moves based on relationships,” she said. “And global connections are the biggest type of relationship I can think of.”


Alumni Speaker: Lee Clark

Lee Clark

It wasn’t a foregone conclusion that Lee Clark (AB ‘90, MBA ‘00) would attend WashU for his bachelor’s degree. His high school record was incomplete when he applied, but the school decided to take a chance on him.

“WashU was known for producing excellent graduates, people who actually go out and do amazing things,” he said. “I wanted to be a part of that.”

The university made a good bet when they admitted Clark, and he feels the same about the institution where he earned both his bachelor’s degree and, a decade later, an MBA. Since then, Clark has built a career as a management consultant to several major healthcare insurance carriers, working to implement healthcare information systems, perform new market assessments, and develop corporate strategies for various healthcare entities. 

For Clark, whose academic interests were varied and vast, Arts & Sciences was the perfect fit for a young scholar. The school felt like a “veritable candy store of riches to explore.” In fact, he didn’t intend to major in economics — he took those classes purely for fun, he said — but ended up going all-in when he learmed he needed only two more econ classes for a major. 

The decision served him well; Clark regularly draws on his economics knowledge in his day-to-day consulting work. But his courses in the humanities at WashU also gave him an opportunity to think about the nature of healthcare from a mission-driven point of view.

In his commencement address, Clark will urge graduates to get involved with the alumni network as soon as possible. From his involvement with the Chicago-area alumni network and the Black Alumni Council, Clark has come to understand that being a WashU graduate is about making a connection to something bigger than yourself. “It sparked the notion in me that the university exists to contribute to society.”