Federal Beureau of Investigation
CLASS OF 1983
Rebecca Madvay always knew that she wanted to attend Washington & Jefferson College—what she did not know was what she wanted to do after graduation. She initially was drawn to W&J because of her family’s history with the College and its convenient location in her hometown. However, when she became a student, W&J offered her much more than she expected—a support system during an influential time in her life. “I always was impressed by the great encouragement from the faculty and staff,” Madvay recalls. Professor Pat Maloney especially impacted her college career when she encouraged her to enter an intercollegiate art competition. Not an art major, Madvay was thrilled to win an award for her pottery.
Though art was of great interest to Madvay, she chose to major in sociology. “I always enjoyed examining interactions among people,” she explains. “Dr. Miller and Dr. Greb of the sociology department played vital roles in providing me with a solid foundation for understanding and dealing with people, which I employ daily.” In addition to her studies, Madvay was a member of Delta Gamma sorority and a little sister of Kappa Sigma fraternity. The friendships she formed through these activities helped shape her personality and taught her confidence and determination.
After Madvay graduated in 1983, she accepted a job as a parole officer for the Washington County Courts, giving her the opportunity to put her sociology degree to work immediately. This introduction to the field of law enforcement soon led Madvay to follow in her father’s footsteps by applying for a job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. She graduated from the FBI academy in 1987, beginning a 22-year career as an FBI agent in the criminal division.
Madvay credits her success to the education and support she received from W&J. “My sociology background has been vital to my accomplishments as an FBI agent,” she says. But, in true liberal arts fashion, Madvay also continues to work on her art and hopes to open her own art studio after she retires.