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Meet Our National Merit Scholars

The top of the heap

Kelly Anderson

Kelly Anderson

  • High School: Saint Francis High School
  • Hometown: Fair Oaks, Calif.
  • Intended Major: English and History
  • Student Activities: Swing Club, Student Government, SPUD

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The school seemed to really care about the students. The impression has only been confirmed by attendance."

Caeli Austin

Caeli Austin

  • High School: Chandler Preparatory Academy
  • Hometown: Gilbert, Ariz.
  • Intended Major: Drama
  • Student Activities: Collegium Cantorum, French Club, Lovely Little Ladies

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"…I’ve been so blessed to meet so many wonderful people, and I can’t imagine going through the tough transition into college life without being surrounded by the support of those who share what is most precious to me--my faith…"

Abigail Bagby

Abby Bagby

  • High School: Broken Arrow High School
  • Hometown: Broken Arrow, Okla.
  • Intended Major: Art

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The art program and the Rome program."

Kelsey Clary

Kelsey Clary

  • High School: St. James Academy
  • Hometown: Lenexa, Kansas
  • Intended Major: Biology and Theology
  • Student Activities: Dance Team, Swing Club, Crusaders for Life

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

“I wanted to attend a small, private university that had a truly Catholic identity. UD was the most authentically Catholic school I looked at, and it was just the right size. I also love Texas!...”

Olivia Cole

Olivia Cole

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Shreveport, La.
  • Intended Major: Studio art
  • Student Activities: Collegium Cantorum

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

“The people and atmosphere. Everyone here is so intelligent and ready to learn, but lots of fun at the same time. I also really enjoy the classes as well. Really, I can't think of any aspect I don't like!”

Jude Galbraith

Jude Galbraith

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Jefferson City, Mo.
  • Intended Major: Undeclared
  • Student Activities: Collegium Cantorum

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"One of the most impressive aspects of UD is the availability and friendliness of the faculty. While I have found many sources of wisdom during my UD experience, from my studies, from the library, and from the students around me, none of these can replace personal contact with a knowledgeable instructor, in any subject…"

Kyle Gjolberg

Kyle Gjolberg

  • High School: Mother of Divine Grace
  • Hometown: Elk Mound, Wisc.
  • Intended Major: Psychology
  • Student Activities: Rugby

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The strong Catholic atmosphere, the impressive academics, and the friendly people."

Olivia Gulino

Olivia Gulino

  • High School: Saint Joseph's Academy
  • Hometown: Baton Rouge, La.
  • Intended Major: Theology
  • Student Activities: Crusaders for Life and Lovely Little Ladies

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"I've really enjoyed the community at UD, not only the small class sizes and small student population, but the community within the dorms. Because of this, I feel like I have a family away from home."

Olivia LaFond

Olivia LaFond

  • High School: Kolbe Academy Home School
  • Hometown: Cary, N.C.
  • Intended Major: Biochemistry
  • Student Activities: Collegium Cantorum, Residence Hall Association, Chemistry Club, Dragon Club

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The Core curriculum, the Rome program, and the Catholic environment were the main factors in my decision to attend UD…"

Sarah Nicholson

Sarah Nicholson

  • High School: Mother of Divine Grace School
  • Hometown: Bellevue, Neb.
  • Intended Major: Theology and Philosophy

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"…I was also unwilling to attend a secular school that would, perhaps, have granted a larger scholarship. Thus, I came here on account both of the financial assistance and the Catholic nature of the school."

Vance Nygard

Vance Nygard

  • High School: Williston High School School
  • Hometown: Williston, N.D.
  • Intended Major: Chemistry
  • Student Activities: Ultimate Frisbee

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"The friends made and Truth found."

Catherine Pool

Catherine Pool

  • High School: Caddo Magnet High School
  • Hometown: Shreveport, La.
  • Intended Major: History and English
  • Student Activities: Swing Club, Called to Crochet

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"The balance between maturity and goofiness, stress and fun—that the people here understand you cannot and should not study at all times, but are intelligent enough to manage the balance properly."

Evan Sadasivan

Evan Sadasivan

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Milford, Mich.
  • Intended Major: Psychology
  • Student Activities: Rugby

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"Charity Week!"

JillianSchroeder

Jillian Schroeder

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Vandalia, Ohio
  • Intended Major: Classics and History
  • Student Activities: Classics Club

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"I think the classes and Core affected my decision to come to UD the most. I knew that if I came to UD, I would get a high quality education. And with the Core, I knew my fellow students and I would share a common experience of learning and groundwork of knowledge."

 

Taran Schwartz

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Newberg, Ore.
  • Intended Major: Undeclared
  • Student Activities: Dragon Club

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"There were a number of factors: the worldview, the size of the school, the Core curriculum and academics, and the Rome program…"

Sebastian Scofield

Sebastian Scofield

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Hillsboro, Oregon
  • Intended Major: Biology
  • Student Activities: Swing Club

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The unique combination of the Catholic character of the school and the solid science program."

Rebekah Spearman

Rebekah Spearman

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Wheelock, Texas
  • Intended Major: Classics or Classical Philology
  • Student Activities: Classics Club, French Club, Swing Club

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The Classics Department, the Core curriculum (because I believe there are certain books everyone should read), my scholarship, and knowing I would be able to meet people with similar interests and beliefs to myself."

Anne Wadsworth

Anne Wadsworth

  • High School: Fredericksburg High School
  • Hometown: Fredericksburg, Texas
  • Intended Major: English
  • Student Activities: Swing Club

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The Core! I wanted to go to a school that views education as a good in and of itself rather than merely a means to an end. By giving every student the opportunity to read and discuss the great works, UD shows its dedication to academics for their own sake. All of that on top of the Rome program made UD the obvious pick."

Austin Walker

Austin Walker

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Austin, Texas
  • Intended Major: Classics and English
  • Student Activities: Ultimate Frisbee

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"The people, the academics, and especially the atmosphere that surrounds the entire campus."

Christian Walker

Christian Walker

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Austin, Texas
  • Intended Major: Biology
  • Student Activities: Ultimate Frisbee

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"I came to UD because of its Catholic tradition, high-caliber liberal arts education, and because of its strong sciences, especially biology and ornithology."

Valerie Wark

Valerie Wark

  • High School: St. Agnes Academy
  • Hometown: Houston, Texas
  • Intended Major: Psychology and Philosophy
  • Student Activities: Collegium Cantorum

What was it that most influenced your decision to attend UD?

"The rigorous academic program and Catholic environment."

Benjamin Webster

Benjamin Webster

  • High School: Home school
  • Hometown: Artesia, New Mexico
  • Intended Major: Biochemistry
  • Student Activities: Chemistry Club, Swing Club, Dragon Club

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"The awesome, intelligent classmates, who work hard and express their faith, intelligently arguing for the truth they believe in, and who are receiving a rich educational background from which we can discuss philosophy and theology."

Alexandra Wilson

Alexandra Wilson

  • High School: Seton Home Study School
  • Hometown: Mount Vernon, Ohio
  • Intended Major: Biology
  • Student Activities: Crusaders for Life

What has been your favorite aspect of UD so far?

"My favorite aspect of UD so far is the Catholic community…I feel very comfortable here and at home—two things I know I could not have found at a great number of even the Catholic schools in the U.S."

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