The Washington University Women’s Society held its sixth annual meeting April 9 in the Women’s Building Formal Lounge and awarded the Elizabeth Gray Danforth Scholarship and two Women’s Society Leadership Awards.
The winner of the Danforth scholarship is Thomas William Schmidt, who is studying at St. Louis Community College at Meramec and carries a 3.96 grade-point average in addition to his work and volunteer activities.
Laurel Griggs and Jessica Long are winners of the Women’s Leadership Award, given to graduating women who have contributed significantly to the University community during their undergraduate years.
In 1976, the Women’s Society established a full-tuition scholarship program, awarding an annual competitive two-year scholarship to an outstanding community college transfer student.
In 1995, the society named the endowment in honor of Danforth as an expression of gratitude and admiration for all that she had done as “first lady” of the University for 24 years — 1973-1995.
Schmidt has been an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, volunteered for numerous activities, and was chosen for the National Dean’s List, Meramec’s Dean’s List and the National Scholars Honor Society. He has been admitted to the School of Engineering & Applied Science, where he plans to pursue a dual degree in biomedical engineering and mathematics in Arts & Sciences.
“Not even in a million years did I think attending Washington University to be a possibility,” Schmidt said. “It is truly amazing.”
Ron Goetz, associate professor of mathematics at Meramec, recommended Schmidt enthusiastically and without reservation.
“He has demonstrated an exceptional blend of academic talent and exemplary classroom participation,” Goetz said. “In addition, he played a leadership role in both formal and informal study groups and has tremendous potential to excel in any scientific field.”
Griggs and Long have displayed effectiveness in service to others, demonstrated exceptional potential for future leadership as well as academic achievement, extracurricular activities and work or work-study employment.
They each will receive a $500 award and a silver clock inscribed with a quote from English writer Virginia Woolf: “I should remind you how much depends upon you and what an influence you can exert upon the future.”
Griggs is a double major in systems science and mathematics in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and in Environmental Studies in Arts & Sciences. She is also slated to earn a master’s degree in May in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences.
Griggs has written a thesis on fluctuations of the soil using fieldwork in Hawaii. Her academic concentration stems from her formative years in the wetlands of central Florida and from the pre-freshman Summer Scholars Program.
She has received rave reviews from her professors as a student, has been helpful in group studies and is enthusiastic and personable. She has done volunteer work helping others and preserving the environment.
Griggs will pursue a doctorate in hydrology and water resources.
Long is a double major in social thought and analysis and in biology, both in Arts & Sciences.
She was one of the co-founders of “Beyond the Surface,” a program to bring city and county high-school students and University students together. She has also worked for several years in Leadership Through Service, a University organization.
Long is committed to social justice and, in addition to learning about racial and economic injustice on campus, has joined activist groups in the St. Louis community. She will attend medical school next year and will combine helping the suffering with aiding social change.