Featured Friar: Malik Washington ’21

by The Cowl Editor on February 11, 2021


Washington knows he made the right choice when he decided to call PC his new home.
Photo courtesy of Malik Washington ’21.

by Sydney Olinger ’23

News Staff

As senior class president, Malik Washington ’21 is truly following his dream to be a voice for the Providence College and greater Providence communities. Beyond this, what is most important to Washington are the opportunities and achievements he has had as a first-generation college student.

Originally from Washington, D.C.,Washington states that he immediately fell in love with PC after attending the “Night in Friartown” event while he was in high school. Father Jordan Kelly, O.P., a resident priest and director of campus ministry at Archbishop Carroll High School, was another inspiration in Washington’s decision to join the Friar Family. If not for Kelly, Washington would have most likely attended a local college near his home. “For my entire life, all I came to know was D.C.,” he explained. “[Fr. Kelly] worked in peer ministry and encouraged me to look beyond the city. When college admissions rolled around, he helped me throughout the entire process.”

Washington is a political science and history double major at PC. He is grateful to the PC community for helping him to come out of his shell and for providing him with the opportunity to  become a leader. 

Given that he is not from New England, where most of PC’s student body is from, Washington admits that it was difficult for him to adjust to college life at first. However, he is grateful to the Faithworks pre-orientation program and the Horizons retreat for making the transition easier and quite the memorable experience.

Serving as the president of the Pre-Law Society also allows Washington to pursue his passion for legislation and to showcase his natural leadership abilities. One of Washington’s proudest accomplishments at PC, though, was when his peers elected him to serve as their class president. He credits the PC class of 2021 as the reason for making his college experience unforgettable with their endless support and friendship over the past four years. He is appreciative of the encouragement from his class, but he is especially grateful for his friend and personal campaign manager, Matthew Reardon ’21. Reardon worked with Washington to develop campaign videos during the election which were, evidently, successful.

“Entering college, I did not envision such an opportunity for myself as I was just focused on making it to graduation—the most important thing for my family,” stated Washington.

Now, as president of the class of 2021, Washington’s primary focus has been ensuring that he and his classmates are able to enjoy their final year together safely. In the fall, Washington was able to work with other members of Student Congress to coordinate a senior class toast via Zoom. Seniors who registered for the event received personalized class of 2021 glasses and heard a personal speech from men’s basketball coach Ed Cooley and College president, Father Kenneth Sicard, O.P. 

In addition to recommending speakers and introducing possible proposals for a COVID-19-safe commencement ceremony, Washington has also spent much of this academic year  brainstorming senior activities for the end of the spring semester. “We are currently planning events to make up for our school traditions that we could not partake in due to COVID-19,” he shared. “I am working closely with the administration to hopefully have some form of senior week.”

Following graduation in May, Washington plans to attend law school. He ultimately hopes to find success in his career in order to inspire children in his community back home to follow in his footsteps, in a way, and to pursue their own dreams, despite being a first-generation college student.

“As a first-generation college student, a degree is an opportunity to not recognize my work but my family’s sacrifices for me to get where I am,” said Washington.

As was the case for many generations of PC students before him, Washington states that 1 Cunningham Square will forever be his second home, and that the Friar Family will forever be his second family.