"At the beginning of my journey, I didn't know what a Presidential Scholar was," says Arts Scholar Rachel Moore (CA, 1982). But she soon learned and turned her nationally recognized talent into a preeminent career—first as a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre and later as the Theatre's executive director and CEO. Today she's President and CEO of The Music Center in Los Angeles.
For Clara Shih (2000, IL), the Presidential Scholars National Recognition Program was a life-changing experience. One fellow Scholar became her college roommate and a best friend for life. Another became a partner in a venture capital firm that has now invested in Clara’s enterprise software company, Hearsay Social.
Presidential Scholars are a diverse group, but they share one thing in common: each attains an outstanding measure of achievement at an early age. Few, however, can match internationally acclaimed cellist Bion Tsang (1984, NY) who was much younger than most when his talents were recognized.
Merrick Garland (1970, IL) is Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. He was appointed to the court in 1997 and was named Chief Judge in February 2013. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Garland has spent the majority of his career in public service, serving as Special Assistant to the Attorney General (1979-1981), Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia (1989-1992),
Singer-songwriter and actress, India Carney, turned what was once a dream into reality when she succeeded in making her national debut television appearances on NBC’s “The Voice” Season 8. A multi-talented performing artist and vocalist, Carney sang alongside Grammy-award winner Christina Aguilera and American pop singer Jason Derulo.
Named a Presidential Scholar in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, Donald S. Beyer Jr. is currently the U.S. Congressman for Virginia's 8th District and is the former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Maria Filsinger Interrante (2012, MN) entered the spotlight in the scientific community in August 2015 as part of the groundbreaking research team at the Stanford Smolke Laboratory that created chemically synthesized yeast and bioengineered opioids with the potential to rewrite and reduce the story of pain around the globe.
Mitch Daniels, the former Governor of Indiana, is currently the President of Purdue University. Visiting the White House as a 1967 Presidential Scholar from Indiana likely whetted his appetite for a political career.
Jamie Raskin is working hard to be the next Congressman for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. Jamie is aided in his campaign by numerous former Presidential Scholars, including his “best friend for life", Louisiana’s Michael Anderson (1979, LA). Jamie and Michael met at the National Recognition Week in the summer of 1979.
Like most Scholars, Jack Wolfgramm, 2015 Presidential Scholar from Hawaii, was surprised and pleased to be invited to be a candidate, and even more surprised to have been selected. His trip from Hawaii to Washington D.C. for the National Recognition Program, though, was much different than for other Scholars.
Since being named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in 1975, Rear Admiral (RADM) Patrick O’Carroll has worked in medicine and public health – writ large and writ small - from seeing individual patients, to investigating disease outbreaks, to helping the federal government efficiently and effectively promote health and prevent disease.
When poet Rita Dove was named Ohio’s Presidential Scholar in 1970, she surely didn’t know it was only the first of many national academic and literary honors. She served as Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995...
In 1988, Kristin Forbes was honored by President Reagan as New Hampshire’s Presidential Scholar; in 2003, she returned to Washington as President Bush’s appointee to the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), and its youngest member ever.
Acclaimed actor/producer on TV, in film and on the stage; the host of NPR’s “Jazz at Lincoln Center”; author of "The Wind in the Reeds"; and rebuilder of his native New Orleans. Wendell Pierce is all of these things, and a Presidential Scholar who also served as advisor to later Presidential Scholars during National Recognition Week in 1982 and 1983.
Perhaps Bruce Reed, currently a Senior Advisor at the Broad Foundation and former Assistant to President Obama and Chief of Staff to Vice President Biden, already had plans to change the American political landscape when he traveled to Washington as one of Idaho’s Presidential Scholars.
As a high school student in Worthington, Ohio, Richard Alley enjoyed both his English and science classes. Since being named one of Ohio’s Presidential Scholars in 1976, he has combined these loves as a distinguished professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University.