Civic Engagement

Gates Millennium Scholar Selects Oglethorpe

Edmund Smith and his high school counselors during Senior Awards Night at Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Ga.

A biopsychology major who plans to become a neurologist, Edmund Smith ’15 was awarded an Oglethorpe University Center for Civic Engagement full-tuition scholarship for his demonstrated commitment to service and leadership in his community and the promise of continued exemplary service as an OU student. Just weeks later, Edmund received notification that he had also been named a 2011 Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient.

There are only 1,000 Gates Millennium Scholarship winners chosen annually from a pool of approximately 20,000 highly-qualified applicants. The scholarship pays all unmet costs after other scholarships and financial aid are applied and can also cover costs of graduate work in specific fields. The Gates Millennium Scholarship is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and all minorities exhibiting financial need are eligible to apply.

The Gates Millennium Scholarship was created with the following in mind:  “The increasing diversity of our society reminds us that all of America’s citizens must have access to higher education if our nation is to sustain and advance itself as a global, competitive democracy in the new millennium. The future of our economy and quality of life depend upon the preparation of a diverse cadre of leaders who can help build a stronger society.”

Although the Gates Millennium Scholarship can be used at any university that the student has been accepted to in the U.S., Edmund said he didn’t think twice about going anywhere other than OU. He maintains that he was a “full-blown Stormy Petrel” right from his very first visit to campus. After interacting with Oglethorpe’s faculty, staff, and students and also learning about the Center for Civic Engagement’s community involvement, Edmund said the positive things about OU just kept on adding up.

On his scholarship success, Edmund simply stated, “I know it’s cliché to say this, but to all of the high school or college students who feel overwhelmed: work hard and everything will pay off in the end!  My winning these scholarships is proof of that. All one needs is ambition, patience, humility, and faith.”

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