Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives
Senior Stories
Will Hardy

As a four-time King Creativity Fund grant recipient, Will Hardy had numerous opportunities to connect what he learned as a physics major to his other interests ... like biology, chemistry and music. For example, in 2010-2011, Will teamed up with fellow-senior, music major Natalie Phillips-Perkoff to make an electric cello.

The result was an instrument the traditional shape and size of a cello using modern innovations. Perhaps the most difficult part of the project was creating the sound electronically. That's where Will's expertise in physics came in. He was able to design a process to electronically recreate the sound of a wooden instrument. Will and Natalie's work won them the 2011 Walt Potter Prize, awarded to the best King Creativity Fund student or project in a given year.

A dedicated student in all areas, Will learned that there is always a different way to look at things, no matter what the discipline, and developed his personal definition of a scholar - "someone who is curious about all kinds of things, and always willing to go back and redefine their conclusions."

Between classes and projects, he saw much of the Williamson County, Texas countryside as an avid cyclist, during which time he concluded that it was prudent to always take along two screwdrivers, wire cutters and electrical tape on his 60-mile rides.

He also prepared for the world by studying abroad in Argentina, where he immersed himself in the language. In fact, he was one of the few students who made an effort to speak Spanish all the time. Will is now a graduate student in the applied physics program at Rice University in Houston.

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