Meet the Fellow: William Leonard
The Monument Team would not be complete if it was not for our awesome Fellows Program. Former fellows have gone on to work for the Administration, think tanks, Members of Congress, law firms, and more. Our fellows serve an important role as contributors to our work here in the government relations, communications, and public affairs space. As we get into 2018, we wanted to be sure to introduce you to our Spring 2018 Fellows!
Name: William Leonard
Hometown: JacksonVille, FL
College: American University
Degree Pursuing: Interdisciplinary Studies (Communications, Legal institutions, economics & Government) and History
What got you interested in politics?
A combination of my Great Uncle Jack, my middle school Social Studies teacher Mrs. Reppert, and my high school U.S. history teacher Mr. Bunton. My Great Uncle inspired me to want to learn, Mrs. Reppert taught me the importance of civic duty, and Mr. Bunton made me feel that I could make a difference.
What is your favorite Monument in Washington D.C.?
The Lincoln Memorial, especially late at night when it’s quiet. There is something deeply profound about getting lost in thoughts in the shadow of America’s greatest president while hearing your footsteps echo in his permanent home in Washington. Regardless of whether my thoughts are about complicated policy issues or personal questions, I think that the Lincoln Memorial is my favorite place to think them over.
If you could check one thing off your bucket list what would it be?
Being in person to see the Jacksonville Jaguars win their first Super Bowl. They were the first major league team I ever rooted for, and I continue to stand by them today. I was a season ticket holder for around 7 years before I came up to D.C., and I went through some of the worst moments in team history. It taught me a great deal about loyalty and being a Jags fan has become a key part of my identity.
What is your favorite play?
Twelve Angry Men. I deeply appreciate the theme of the play, that one person can make a difference by speaking up for what they believe in. I also enjoy the elevated level of discussion which demonstrates some of the best aspects of our justice system. I was fortunate enough to see both movie versions of the play as well as a touring production starring Richard Thomas.
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
The Constitutional Convention. I would love to be in the room where it happened, if you will, and listen to the arguments and compromises that were put forward. At that point, this was the first experiment in any element of democracy since the Roman Republic became the Roman Empire, and it would be fascinating to hear, in their own voices, what the founding fathers though about how this more perfect nation should take form.