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A Gates Millennium Scholar. The co-creator of an educational computer game. A gospel singer whose first album was released this summer.
These are a few of the incoming Bucknell University Class of 2018, a class of about 940 students set to arrive Aug. 22.
Gates Millennium Scholar Reginald Nelson plans to major in mechanical engineering. He is one of 10 Philadelphia high school seniors and 16 students statewide honored as a Gates Millennium Scholar. The scholarship covers full, or nearly full, tuition at Bucknell.
Bobby Cao helped to create Number Invaders, which placed first at the Regional School Computer Fair. Cao, a graduate of Milton Area High School who will major in computer science, said, "I have a dream to work for a big company like Google or Microsoft."
Stephen Leslie, a graduate of Bowie High School and class valedictorian, will major in biomedical engineering and pursue a career in gospel music. His first album is scheduled for release this summer. Leslie, who is also a Posse Scholar, said, "The Posse program is definitely making my transition into college a lot easier."
Another musician in the Class of 2018 is Anna Black, a graduate of Greenwich High School, who received the 2014 Emerging Young Artist Grand Prize. She calls music "the driving force in my life."
Kelly Pretz, a graduate of Manasquan High School, received a New Jersey Spirit of a Hero scholarship for her work in promoting epilepsy awareness. Pretz has raised money for the Epilepsy Foundation of New Jersey, created a teen mentoring program, spoken with Congressional leaders in Washington, and written a book.
Another scholarship winner is Catherine Higgins, Watchung Hills Regional High School, who received the Barry Judd Memorial Scholarship.
Orientation for the Class of 2018 will include several days filled with activities aimed at easing the transition to University life. A highlight of the program is the walk through the Christy Mathewson Gates, a tradition the class will repeat on Commencement Day 2018. Other traditions include the annual Convocation and Candlelighting ceremonies as well as Playfair and Color Games.
During the summer, first-year students will begin preparing for their new life at Bucknell with the First-Year Common Reading project. Members of the class have been asked to read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. They will write essays in response to the reading and discuss it soon after they arrive.
Other Class of 2018 members include: