June 19, 2009

Spring class meeting in The Grove.

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(Editor’s note: This is a continuing summer series.)

By Sam Alcorn

LEWISBURG, Pa. – In August, 925 first-year students will report to the Bucknell University campus to begin orientation.

While their arrival is weeks away, members of the University’s newest class – the Class of 2013 – have already made a mark in and out of their high school classrooms. || Read first, third installments

Among the more than 7,500 applicants for Bucknell’s newest class arriving on campus on Friday, Aug. 21, is Alex Thompson, the class valedictorian at Sheehan High School in Wallingford, Conn.

Will study engineering
Thompson, who will study engineering, offered some advice to current students in his local newspaper, The Record-Journal: “You know if you go through high school not trying, not applying your best effort, you’re going to struggle later on; you’re not going to know which direction you want to go with your life, so you have to think about the bigger picture.”

He finished high school with a 4.2 grade-point average on a scale of 4.4 – with just one B during his entire four-year high school career.

Then there’s Amy Atkins from Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren, N.J.

Atkins was among those recently honored by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association as one of the state’s finest student-athletes.

A field hockey and girls lacrosse standout, she captained both teams in her senior year, and as a field hockey player for four years she earned almost every honor that exists on the all-conference, all-county, all-area and all-state levels. The honor roll student plans to continue her field hockey career at Bucknell.

Another New Jersey resident coming to Bucknell this fall is Laina Lusk, who was class salutatorian at Oakcrest High School in Hamilton Township. Lusk, who plans to pursue a degree in neuroscience to become a neuropsychologist, had some inspiring words for her high school classmates.

'Through a lot'
“We’ve been through a lot," Lusk said. "We encountered obstacles and overcame them. We learned a lot, especially about ourselves. Some of us have figured out what we want to do with our lives; some of us are working on that. We’ve had glorious victories and crushing defeats. We like to reflect on the wins, but there were times we expected first place but got fifth. There were times we wanted to go to states, but couldn’t make it past counties. And there were times we froze during a performance, or studied our hardest on a test but still got a 50. There were always those times that we wanted to be recognized but were ignored or we wanted so badly to do our best but disappointed not only our friends and family but ourselves.

“Now, it might seem strange to talk about failure after we’ve successfully graduated from high school, but that’s the point,” Lusk continued. “As you leave this field tonight and enter the real world, don’t be afraid of failure. Learn from it. We’ve already faced it, and managed to do it gracefully, never letting it get the best of us. … And I hope that after facing any disappointment, you’ll always turn around, like I’ve seen so many times, and realize that it’s OK.”

From San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Prep School, Billy Mattimore helped his lacrosse team to finish the season with a No. 30 national ranking and as California's No. 1 team.

is skills resulted in him receiving awards for the top male athlete in the school and as an outstanding leader on the field and in the classroom.

It's a big jump from high school to college," his coach said. "It's an even bigger jump to Division I. But I know he'll be a great teammate."

And there’s Scott Berges of Branford (Conn.) High School.

Scott, an annual high honors student who plans to study engineering, was named Branford’s male scholar-athlete of the year. While being a two-sport athlete – soccer and lacrosse – Scott told his local newspaper that athletics and academics complemented each other and forced him to wisely budget his time.

Plus, he said he drew motivation from a motto. “My father has an expression, ‘Work Hard to Play Hard,’ that’s had a big impact on my life,” Scott said. “What it means is that you do everything in your life to the fullest. So I work as hard as I can, which gives me time to get on the field and play hard, and by doing both, it creates a good balance in my life.”

The Class of 2013 admitted applicant group represents 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Seventy-five different countries are represented by admitted foreign nationals, dual citizens and permanent residents. || See Class of 2013 profile

Contact: Division of Communications


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