“When I walked up the stairs to Brookings Hall, I knew this was the place I wanted to spend the next four years of my life,” says Dylan Simonsen of his first visit to Washington University during high school.
Simonsen, Arts & Sciences Class of ’14, is one of three inaugural members of the McLeod Scholars Program, a newly established undergraduate scholarship endowment. The program honors James E. McLeod, vice chancellor for students and dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Simonsen received the scholarship due to his academic achievement, commitment to serving others, leadership potential and character.
Without the McLeod Scholarship and his Danforth Scholarship, Simonsen would not have been able to attend the university. “I aspire to be a future donor to show my appreciation,” he says.
Simonsen enjoys the camaraderie of the other McLeod Scholars. “I get to share in the amazing company of Ana Solorio [Engineering Class of ’14] and Michele Hall [Arts & Sciences Class of ’14],” he says.
In addition, Simonsen gained a great mentor — Sharon Stahl, associate vice chancellor for students and dean of the First Year Center. “She is an incredible administrator, adviser and mother-away-from-home,” he says.
Simonsen also exemplifies the qualities of a McLeod Scholar outside the classroom by taking an active role in the university community. He participates in Relay For Life, Teach ESL and Dance Marathon.
“I am also in the process of starting a community service program, which involves going to a juvenile detention center and doing artwork with the kids there,” he says. “I want to make a unique contribution to the world.”