Erskine College announces top scholarship winners

Posted on March 3, 2014

Two Presidential Scholarship winners led a list of four high school seniors recently chosen to receive top scholarships at Erskine College.

Brooklyn Fay Garrett

Brooklyn Faye Garrett

Brooklyn Faye Garrett of Westminster, S.C., a student at West-Oak High School, and Rachel Marie Lloyd of Chappells, S.C., a student at Clinton High School, have each been chosen to receive an Erskine College Presidential Scholarship.

The Presidential Scholarship, awarded for the coming academic year, is named in honor of the 15 presidents who have served Erskine College since the school’s founding in 1839. The scholarship covers tuition, room, board, and fees, minus any state, federal, and outside scholarships or grants. The value of the scholarship over four years is approximately $170,000. It is renewable for four years of study, and requires the recipient to maintain an Erskine GPA of 3.0 and to uphold the ideals and standards of Erskine College.

The two winners of Erskine’s most prestigious scholarship were chosen from among 28 finalists who came to the campus Feb. 7-8 for the competition. The finalists participated in three different interviews; attended a banquet hosted by Acting President Dr. Brad Christie; heard a testimonial from Presidential Scholar Jordan Joseph; and listened to a keynote address by alumnus Tripp Boykin ’92.

Garrett, a member of National Honor Society and Beta Club, is student body vice president and has served as president of Rotary Interact; vice president of Key Club; secretary of Tri-M Music Honor Society; and treasurer of Future Educators Association. She has been active in varsity track for four years and varsity cheerleading for three years. A Girls State delegate, she was chosen to attend Girls Nation in Washington, D.C. Other honors she has received include a Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) scholarship and RYLA’s Ultimate Servant Award; selection as a Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Ambassador; selection as All Star/All American UCA Cheerleader; and a Presidential award for community service.

Her church and community activities include involvement with her church’s Life Teen Youth Group as well as volunteer work with Relay for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YMCA, Toys for Tots, Special Olympics, Angels in the Outfield, Soles for Souls, Make-A-Wish, Children’s Miracle Network, and March of Dimes.

Rachel Lloyd

Rachel Marie Lloyd

Lloyd, a member of the National Honor Society and the Science Olympiad Team, has played varsity tennis throughout her high school career. She has participated in community projects with the National Honor Society, offering volunteer service with local soup kitchens and nursing homes.

She was chosen to participate in the main competing group of the Science Olympiad Team and competed at the state level, where she gained recognition for her performance in several categories, winning a gold medal in “Anatomy” and silver medals in “Disease Detectives” and “Write to Do It.” The varsity tennis team won regional championships three of the four years in which she played. She also received the Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award from the University of Rochester.

In addition to her volunteer service through the National Honor Society, Lloyd assisted an aunt who had been diagnosed with leukemia during her hospitalization, helping the aunt with housekeeping, gardening, and care for livestock.

Selected from among the 28 Presidential Scholarship finalists to receive the Solomon Scholarship, which covers tuition and is renewable for a total of four years of study, were Susan Brooks Durden of Columbia, S.C., and Calaway Lesesne Williamson of Due West, S.C. The Solomon Scholarship is valued at approximately $120,000.

Susan Durden poses with her family after being surprised with the Solomon Scholarship award.

Susan Durden, second from left, poses with her family after being presented with the Solomon Scholarship award at Richland Northeast High School.

Durden attends Richland Northeast High School, where she has taken a number of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses. She has served as a member of the Richland Northeast Student House as a representative of her class, planning community service events and school functions, and is also secretary of her school’s chapter of the National Art Honor Society.

She has served as worship chair, vice president, and president of her church’s youth group; has assisted her youth ministries director in planning and leading youth events; and has participated in a number of Salkehatchie service events. She volunteers regularly at Westside Nursing Home, and has assisted for five years with youth mission trip fund-raising events.

Williamson attends Dixie High School, where he serves as vice president of BetaClub, participates in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, is a member of the football team and track team, sings in the chorus, and was nominated for and attended Palmetto Boys State 2013 as well as the Junior National Young Leaders Conference. His athletic awards include Most Valuable Player on the track team, silver and bronze medals at the state track meet, and selection for the All-Region and All-Lakelands track teams.

Cal Williamson with family and friends in the library of Dixie High School

Solomon Scholar Cal Williamson, center, is joined by  family and well-wishers at Dixie High School.

He has volunteered with his church’s children’s ministry for several years, and last summer served as leader in his church’s summer camp program, taking responsibility for three middle school boys during the camp session.

The scholarship winners, all outstanding students, will be welcomed to the Erskine community in the fall when they begin their freshman year as members of the Class of 2018.