Reynolds’ honors mount

Published 4:50 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

Incoming University of Georgia freshman Ben Reynolds, the 2009 Bainbridge High School valedictorian, was one of 11 students to receive the Foundation Fellowship.

Reynolds, son of Dr. and Mrs. John Reynolds, was also named one of 69 National Merit Scholars in the state of Georgia.

The Foundation Fellowship provides in-state students an annual stipend of $9,000 in addition to the HOPE Scholarship.

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The fellowship also includes opportunities to participate in international travel-study, research conferences, internships and public service projects. Previous students have studied abroad, conducted research and completed public service all over the world, including Tanzania, India, Greece, Ghana, Antarctica and Mongolia.

The Fellows were chosen from more than 1,100 applicants. Finalists attended an interview weekend on campus last February, participating in faculty-led seminars, social gatherings with current Fellows, and a round of interviews with senior faculty, Foundation trustees, Fellows alumni and university staff.

The 2009 recipients have an average SAT score of 1524. Their average grade point average is 4.11 on a 4.0 scale, which indicates extra points for Advanced Placement courses. Their high school academic and extracurricular records are also impressive.

The fellowships are renewable for an additional three years as long as the students maintain a cumulative 3.5 grade point average and are in good standing with the Honors Program.

The Foundation Fellows program was created in 1972. The 11 first-year students will bring the current number of Fellows to 78.

As for the National Merit Scholarship, Reynolds joins more than 2,800 other college-sponsored award recipients who were announced in late May.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their winners from among finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program who were attend their institution. College-sponsored awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship.

Merit scholars go through a rigorous screening process that includes an essay, an outstanding academic record, endorsements by high school officials and high SAT scores.

About 15,000 semifinalists attained finalist standing, and more than half of this group were chosen to receive National Merit Scholarships.