Liggett Scholars — Good News for Everyone

At a dinner Sunday, eight students who are the future of University Liggett School were celebrated as the 2013 Liggett Merit Scholars. They come from all over, though three of them are current Liggett eighth-graders.

This year’s scholars

The Liggett Merit Scholarship program was created to bring metro Detroit’s best students — irrespective of their ability to pay — to Liggett by offering full- and half-tuition scholarships for four years of Upper School. A generous gift of $1 million from the Moroun family has helped fund this important program. Last year was the first graduating class of Liggett Scholars and it included seniors who are now at Case Western, Williams College, Notre Dame, Yale, and New York University in Abu Dhabi. This year’s group includes early-admit decisions to Princeton, Cornell and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“We look for students who will not only do well here, but do things in life,” said Kevin Breen  who runs the program with ample help from Ted Alpert.

Hundreds of students apply and take the Educational Resource Board test that is the first round of the selection process. A certain number are asked to come in for round two based on those scores and their grades from their current school.

Breen said any of the students who make it to round two are very capable academically. “What we search for in round two are the intangibles,” he said. “Intellectual curiosity, intrinsic motivation, and we discover that through interviews and an extemporaneous writing assignment.”

Breen says there is a greater good at issue here: “We feel if we add eight students with those qualities to our already highly motivated student body, it helps everyone.  We’ve seen it in our discussion-based classes, there’s a synergy and the level of dialogue is raised so every student benefits.”

This year’s Liggett Scholars are:

  • Lucille Alpert of Grosse Pointe Farms, a student at University Liggett School.
  • Samuel Brusilow of Grosse Pointe, a student at University Liggett School.
  • Antoni Dulac of Grosse Pointe Farms, a student at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic School.
  • Sarah Galbenski of Grosse Pointe Shores, a student at Parcells Middle School.
  • Brandon Johnston of Grosse Pointe Woods, a student at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic School.
  • Riley Marchin of Algonac, a student at Immaculate Conception Catholic School. Riley is the Moroun Family Liggett Scholar, funded by a $1 million donation from the Moroun Family Foundation for students who qualify for the Merit Scholarship and demonstrate financial need.
  • Amani Tolin of Commerce Township, a student at Laurus Academy.
  • Andrew Wu of Macomb Township, a student at University Liggett School.

These students have big shoes to fill, but they are up to the challenge, Breen says. They are among the brightest in the area, and they’re raising the bar for everyone at Liggett.

By Ron Bernas