Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
501 E. St. Joseph Street • Rapid City, SD 57701- 3995
Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 1999
SDSM& T’S 1999 FRESHMAN CLASS BOASTS A
UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR
The 1999 freshman class at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology ( SDSM& T) has much to be proud of. In addition to 18 Regent Scholars, 13 Eagle Scouts, 6 Valedictorians, 19 members of Who’s Who Among High School Students, and 23 National Honor Society members, the freshman class welcomes a United States Presidential Scholar. Andrew Farke of Armour, South Dakota was recognized this Spring by President Bill Clinton as a U. S. Presidential Scholar ad Mr. Brad D. Preheim of Armour High School was recognized as a Distinguished Teacher.
For 35 years the Nation’s most accomplished high school seniors have been honored by the President for their academic achievements, leadership, and community service. In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized the first group of 121 students for their academic excellence. “ You are exceptional members of an exceptional generation…,” Johnson stated as he greeted the Presidential Scholars.
In addition to academic achievement, a second component was added to the program in 1979. Up to 20 students would be recognized who demonstrate exceptional talent in the visual, creative, and performing arts in addition to academic achievement. A final and third element was added in 1983 when the recipients were asked to name the teacher or instructor who had influenced them most during their school years. These teachers would then become a National Distinguished Teacher and would be invited to National Recognition Week where they would be honored.
The students chosen as Presidential Scholars based on their academic achievement are selected through their SAT I/ ACT scores. Between 30 and 60 students with the highest scores in each state are selected as semifinalists. Those students are then invited to submit essays, self- assessments, and a secondary school evaluation and transcripts which are then critiqued by an independent, national committee of educators. The field of 2,600 candidates is narrowed to 500 who are then turned over to the White House Commission who select the final Presidential Scholars to be honored in Washington. One man and woman are selected from each state, the District of Colombia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and from families of U. S. citizens living abroad.
For the artistic component of the program, the White House Commission selects finalists from an Arts Recognition and Talent Search. These students are then also invited to submit qualifying materials and the Commission in turn selects up to 20 Presidential Scholars.
“ Having a U. S. Presidential Scholar is a genuine complement to the university,” said Doug Lange, Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs at SDSM& T. “ There are only a few outstanding scholars like Andrew in the nation and we are proud he is a SDSM& T student. His coming here continues to make true the statement that ‘ quality attracts quality.’”
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