#11 Stacee Smith (WGH 15-18)

Goodenough provided an intellectually stimulating environment that further ignited the creative and inquisitive fire which has always burned within my soul.

The three years I spent at Goodenough College were absolutely incredible. Each year brought it’s own adventures and experiences, and I’ll always cherish the many wonderful memories I have of the international friends I met who created such a warm, homely community; as well as the countless enriching activities I participated in. My first year in particular stands out as one full of pure joy and meaningful moments.

I knew Goodenough was the place for me, the minute I heard the beautiful sounds of a grand piano during a tour of the premises the year before I applied. My instincts were right, as it was the College’s musical outlets that proved therapeutic during stressful periods, as I completed the final stage of my legal studies.


Stacey Smith singing

Inspired by the concert pianists in my midst, I began practicing piano diligently after about a decade of barely playing. I performed a couple of my favourite classical pieces in College concerts.  Following the encouragement of my peers and College staff members, I also sang jazz regularly at various College events, including the Soul Nights that I put on. These performances in turn inspired me to secure gigs in London’s West End, one of which was in partnership with UN Women.

I also organized numerous Port Talks, including those featuring former Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Alan Rusbridger, Harper Collins Commissioning Editor Martha Ashby, and Goodenough Alumna and Washington Post reporter Karla Adam, among other speakers in the fields of law and diplomacy. As a writer with a journalism background and aspirations of becoming an author, it was particularly special and empowering to have a platform that enabled me to learn from such renowned individuals in the media industry.


Members at concert in William Goodenough House

Among my other Goodenough highlights and involvements were co-organizing the Halloween Party and the Summer and Winter Balls, as Social & Cultural Co-Chair on the Members Council; creating the Creative Writing & Journalism Club and Jazz, Hip-Hop, Soul & Funk Society; participating in the Founders Day ceremony; assisting with the African & Caribbean Society’s events; participating in the Goodenough Telethon; providing walking literary tours of Bloomsbury; tai chi sessions, BBQs and refreshing runs in the garden (which my 2nd floor Willie G room had the perfect view of!); making delicious Spanish tapas with the Cooking Club; singing Bach’s St. John Passion in the choir along with the Good Ensemble; sitting in discounted boxed seats while watching world-class performances at the Royal Albert Hall; attending the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey; meeting Her Majesty The Queen (an experience I wrote about for Goodenough News magazine), and generally making the most of every possible opportunity – and there certainly were too many to mention!

Goodenough – with its ideal central location, removed from the hustle and bustle of London – provided an intellectually stimulating environment that further ignited the creative and inquisitive fire which has always burned within my soul! This in turn enabled me to develop skills that had been lying dormant for years and grow as a person; adding immeasurable value to my life.