A day after the University announced the names of only eight winners of the University’s most prestigious and valuable full-freight scholarships — the Angier Buchanan Duke national merit awards — the dimensions of the shipwreck came into better focus.
The eight have agreed to come to Duke. An impeccable faculty source says at least 21 scholarships were offered — and probably more as rejections started to come in.
We believe the rejection rate is unprecedented. But our source could not confirm this, not knowing year to year statistics.
We have asked Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public relations, for additional information on this: the precise number offered initially, the number added later, and the demographics of those who accepted and said no. We will post on this again very late Wednesday evening.
A second faculty source said the small number of AB Duke’s will ripple through the program in many ways. For example, the scholarship recipients are brought together socially and intellectually — and there will be a much smaller pool. In recent years, we’ve had 15 to 18 AB Duke Scholars.
Both of our faculty sources praised the AB Duke program, for its leadership and for its execution.
On Wednesday morning, the announcement of scholarship recipients continued to trickle out of Duke PR, which is the usual pattern since they’re trying to milk these announcements for more coverage than one story would yield.
The latest announcements are the winners of the Benjamin Newton Duke Scholarships, named for the brother of James B. Duke. (Ben is often pictured as being very healthy, but in fact he was sickly throughout his life. He is shown with his wife, namesake of the Sarah P Duke Gardens.)
Like the AB’s, these are merit awards, but restricted to students in the Carolinas. They were created to stem the flow of the best students out of the Carolinas, many to the Ivy League.
Originally the Bennies, as they are sometimes called, were “only” worth 75 percent of tuition. In 2000, additional gifts to the endowment fund for the scholarships enabled expansion to cover full freight. The website values each scholarship — including “summer enhancements” — at over $250,000.
With the expansion of benefits, the University announced there would be a set number of recipients each year — ten — which made this program unlike the AB Duke’s.
What we do not know is how many Bennies had to be offered, to round up the ten acceptances.
Here’s the list, devoid of the usual short description of what distinctions led to the student’s award. We do not know why Duke no longer makes that information available.
– John Victor Sena Alencar of Columbia, S.C., a graduate of Dreher High School in Columbia, and son of Ana Karina and Tom Alencar;
– Logan Nicole Beyer of New Bern, N.C., a graduate of Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, N.C., and daughter of Kristin Blevins Beyer and Jay Beyer;
– Margaret Louise Booz of Winston-Salem, N.C., a graduate of Mount Tabor High School in Winston-Salem, and daughter of Deborah and Mark Booz;
– Chuckwuma Nnanyelu Eruchalu of Charlotte, N.C., a graduate of Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte, and son of Adaora and Obinna Eruchalu;
– Rachel Anne Glenn of Wilmington, N.C., a graduate of Isaac Bear Early College High School in Wilmington, and daughter of Teresa Lambe and Jeffrey Glenn;
– Kristen Michele Larson of Goldsboro, N.C., a graduate of North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, N.C., and daughter of Michele and Robert Larson;
– Bruna Meira de Vasconcelos Liborio of Concord, N.C., a graduate of Canon School in Concord, and daughter of Ariane Meira de Vasconcelos Liborio and Casimiro Jose de Sa Liborio;
– Tanner John Lockhead of Durham, N.C., a graduate of Charles E. Jordan Senior High School in Durham, and son of Julia and John Lockhead;
– Meghana Vakkalanka Rao of Florence, S.C., a graduate of Wilson High School in Florence, and daughter of Padmaja and Sreenivas Rao;
– Laura Katherine Winn of Stoneville, N.C., a graduate of John Motley Morehead High School in Eden, N.C., and the daughter of Janet and David Winn.