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Arizona's top seniors choose ASU


May 24, 2007

Ten of Arizona’s premier high school seniors have chosen to pursue a college education at ASU next fall on a Flinn Foundation Scholarship, the highest number in memory. The Flinn Scholarship is the most prestigious honor offered to Arizona students, to encourage the very best students to stay in the state.

The award provides four years of study at an Arizona university, academic-focused travel abroad, personal mentorship by faculty members and other benefits. The package is valued at more than $50,000.

The 22nd class of Flinn Scholars, announced May 14 at a recognition dinner at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, includes students from 18 high schools in 11 Arizona cities and towns across the state. As a group, the class averaged scores of 1,435 of a possible 1,600 on the SAT, and 32 of a possible 36 on the ACT. Eight are National Merit Scholars, and one is a National Hispanic Scholar – benchmark honors for the top echelon of students nationally.

In addition to outstanding academic performance, selection criteria included achievement and leadership in extracurricular activities and service efforts.

“These remarkable students could have chosen to attend virtually any college or university in the nation, many with attractive scholarship offers,” says John Murphy, the Flinn Foundation’s president and chief executive officer. “Their academic credentials are impeccable, and they are equally impressive outside the classroom in leadership roles. Their commitment to study in Arizona is a testament to the strength and reputation of our universities.”

The 20 Flinn Scholars were chosen from an applicant pool of about 425 of Arizona’s high-achieving students. Nine have enrolled for next fall at the University of Arizona, and one at Northern Arizona University.

In addition to the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, students were selected from schools in Rio Rico, Sierra Vista, St. Johns and Yuma.

“These are among the most sought-after students in the nation,” says Mark Jacobs, dean of Barrett, the Honors College. “We are lucky that they were encouraged to remain in Arizona for their college experience by the Flinn Foundation scholarship, and all of ASU benefits from their presence. During their four-year stays, we see Flinn Scholars become student government leaders, national graduate fellowship winners, community service project leaders and active members of ASU’s intellectual community.”

The program, run by a private philanthropy, includes tuition, room, board and books; a three-week intensive seminar in Eastern Europe; at least one additional study and travel experience abroad or in the United States; mentorship by a faculty member in the student’s field of study; invitations to cultural events and activities; and opportunities to participate in research programs and professional meetings.

The Flinn Foundation was established in 1965 by the late Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn, with the broad mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. In addition to the Flinn Scholars Program, begun in 1986, the foundation’s primary emphasis is to advance the medical sciences in Arizona.