University of Arkansas Announces 2009 Sturgis Fellows
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas is pleased to announce the 2009 Sturgis Fellowship selections. The incoming freshman class for fall 2009 is comprised of four Arkansans and one out-of-state student from Mississippi. Those from Arkansas include Preston Caldwell of Batesville, Bobby Howard of Mountain Home, Katie Soerens of Fayetteville, and Lydia Thompson of Bentonville. Christopher Peterson is from Ocean Springs, Miss.
The 2009 Sturgis class boasts an average of a 34 composite on the ACT, 4.0 high school grade point average, four National Merit Semifinalists, and one National Merit Commended Scholar.
The Sturgis Fellowship is the University of Arkansas’ oldest fellowship and covers tuition, fees, room and board, as well as discretionary funding for professional journals, academic conferences and study abroad excursions. For more than 20 years, the Sturgis Fellowship has allowed exceptional students to receive a top-tier education, compete for and often win national awards, and gain admission into prestigious graduate and professional schools.
Sturgis Fellows have continued their education after Arkansas at Brown, Cambridge, Duke, Harvard, Virginia and Washington-St. Louis, among others. They have also spent time studying in Canada, England, Australia, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Spain, China, India, Japan, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa and Bulgaria.
William A. Schwab, dean of Fulbright College, observed that “As we approach the 20th anniversary in 2010 of the first class of Sturgis Fellows to graduate from the University of Arkansas, we have an opportunity to review two decades of extraordinary academic accomplishment. But as I look over my shoulder, I am happy to report that the five new Sturgis Fellows who will arrive on our campus this fall point very clearly to a future of equal distinction. All of us in Fulbright College and the University of Arkansas are indebted to the Sturgis family for their commitment to higher education, and so we look toward the coming years with the kind of optimism that rests on two decades of proven achievement and excellence. It is a privilege to work with students of such diverse and distinguished abilities.”
More than 500 students applied for prestigious fellowships at the University of Arkansas in 2009, and selections were based on a rigorous application that included an academic resume, multiple essays, letters of recommendation and high school transcripts. Finalists were invited to campus for interviews, and five students were chosen from that group to receive the Sturgis Fellowship.
The Sturgis Fellowship requires that its recipients pursue a major in Fulbright College. Moreover, Sturgis Fellows must complete the Scholars Program within the Fulbright College Honors Program, completing the demanding course of study that allows them to graduate with Honors.
Professor Sidney Burris, director of the Fulbright College Honors Program and chair of the selection committee, remarked that “The interviews this year were extraordinary; I regarded them, in fact, more as intelligent conversations than interviews, and as always I came away from them having discovered a book or two that I need to read. Of course, our final choices were difficult; the spectrum of talent was a wide and diverse one; and this diversity and talent will be amply represented by the wonderful group that is arriving here in the fall.”
The Sturgis Fellowship is made possible by an endowment from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust to Fulbright College. Each Sturgis Fellow receives $50,000 or $12,500 per year, representing one of the most lucrative scholarships offered by any university in the country.
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