2018

  • Sign up for August Pizza Talks

    Students can sign up now to discuss one of their summer reading books over a free pizza lunch with a teacher and their peers. Groups will meet the first week of school. Space is limited; first come, first served! Check it out here.
     
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  • Make-Up Book Buy Back June 6

    The make-up day for Book Buy Back is Wednesday, June 6, 9-10 a.m. in the Owl Room (in the Sue H. Hyde Sports and Physical Education Center). We will pay cash for any hardback books in good condition that will be used again next year. Click here for a list of those books.
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  • Phones Out of Service May 30

    Phone service will be down throughout campus for 15-30 minutes sometime during the morning of Wednesday, May 30. Email service will not be affected, so feel free to contact us via email. If you do not know whom to contact, send an email to liz.copeland@musowls.org.
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  • Celebrating Our Eagle Owls

    Fifteen Owls have reported achieving the rank of Eagle Scout in 2017-18. Seniors Tate Bailey, Mack Bethell, William Dellinger, Thompson McDonald, Jackson Moody, Peter Raves, Landon Springfield, and Jason Wang; juniors Bailey Keel, Stillman McFadden, and Matt Rhodes; sophomores Robert Dickinson and Alex Warr; freshman Griffin Hood; and eighth grader McRae Dickinson have achieved the highest attainable rank in the Boy Scouts of America. This rank requires years to fulfill; the scout must earn at least 21 merit badges, pass a lengthy review process, lead a community service project, and demonstrate an ideal attitude based upon the Scout Oath and Law, service, and leadership. The Eagle Scout rank is over 100 years old, and historically only four percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank.
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  • Owls Take Second in Physics Bowl Region

    Twenty-one Owls competed against the best physics students from 11 states in the annual Physics Bowl, taking second place in Division II for the third year in a row.
     
    The contest is split into two divisions of first-year and second-year physics students. Our top five second-year students were Chang Yu, Jeremy Jacobs, Jackson Moody, Rick Reinhard, and Brad Kerkhof. Their combined score of 124 beat such prestigious schools as Oak Ridge High School and Randolph School in Alabama. Yu took first place among all individuals in the region.
     
    MUS competitors were seniors Benjamin Freeman, Jacobs, Kerkhof, Aidan Lonergan, William Miller, Moody, Sam Payne, Rick Reinhard, Jon Staffel, John Ross Swaim, Matthew Temple, Jacob Webb, Cameron Wyatt, and Yu; and juniors were Tareq Alyousef, Eddie Field, Grayson Kendall, Jory Meyers, Kayhan Mirza, Caleb Riggs, and Ty Williams.
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  • Colorado College Tour, October 4-6

    Mark your calendars for the fall college tour, October 4-6. See the flyer here.
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  • Latin Owls Victorious 11th Year Straight

    Bubones took first place overall for the 11th consecutive year at the 62nd Annual Tennessee Junior Classical League State Convention, thanks to a strong showing in individual awards, first place finishes in Intermediate and Novice Certamen, and a second-place award in Advanced Certamen. The Owls competed among approximately 600 students from 38 schools throughout Tennessee at the convention, held at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville April 20-21. A total of 42 Upper and Lower School Owls earned a combined score of 1,423 points. University School of Nashville finished second, and Hume-Fogg finished third.
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  • Order of the Owl Inducts 26

    Instructor in English Dax Torrey '94 presided over the 2017-18 Order of the Owl induction May 11, as 26 new members were inducted, and nine eighth graders maintained their membership for a second year.
     
    To be eligible for induction, eighth graders must have a weighted academic average of 90, and seventh graders must have a weighted academic average of 93 for the year. In addition, all inductees must demonstrate excellent citizenship in accordance with the school Honor Code and Community Creed. Second-year Order of the Owl eighth graders are Will Chandler, McRae Dickinson, William Gooch, Edward Grinder, Alex Li, Matthew Mellone, Johnathan Ray, Coleman Whitehead, and Christopher Yarbro. First-year eighth graders are Rithvik Giledi, Evan Jones, Cole Latkovic, Reece Needham, Cole Rutherford, Talal Siddiq, Jack Varner, Porter Webber, and Kollin White.
     
    First-year seventh graders are Jack Blackwell, Vince Boberski, Lewis Butler, Clarence Chapman, Charlie Gamble, Jaxon Hammond, Joseph Keeler, Eli Lewis, Kevin Ma, Parth Mishra, Jackson Oswalt, Thomas Preston, Kyan Ramsay, Morgan Temme, Edward Wilson, Jack Zaptin, and Lou Zhou.
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  • Youth in Government Owlcolades

    Ten Lower School Youth in Government delegates attended the YMCA Middle School YIG Conference in late April, and three seventh graders collected accolades:
    • Amar Kanakamedala: Outstanding Statesperson
    • Parth Mishra: Outstanding Statesperson
    • Jack Zaptin and Amar Kanakamedala: Outstanding Bill
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  • Howell Receives 1693 Scholarship

    The College of William & Mary 1693 Scholars Program has awarded senior Jackson Howell with the prestigious Girton and Bright Families 1693 Scholarship. The college's most selective scholarship program awards extensive benefits, including full tuition, and room and board annually to seven students per year. Finalists typically rank in the top 1 percent of their high school senior class, score a 1,500 or higher on the SAT (Critical Reading plus Math), and take the most demanding high school curriculum available to them.
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  • Loyola University Names Kerkhof Ignatian Scholar

    Senior Brad Kerkhof has earned the New Orleans Ignatian Scholarship for Academic Excellence at Loyola University. Ignatian Scholars receive a full-tuition scholarship and on-campus housing allowance, plus admission into the Honors Program. Scholars must also fulfill specialized service requirements as part of this cohort. Qualified applicants must complete a selective interview, achieve a minimum cumulative 3.5 GPA on a 4-point scale in academic subjects, and earn a minimum 29 ACT composite or minimum 1300 SAT combined score.
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  • Vo Earns QuestBridge College Match

    QuestBridge, a national nonprofit that connects the country’s most exceptional, underserved youth with 40 top-tier colleges and universities, has awarded senior Leon Vo a full, four-year scholarship to attend Colby College. Out of the 15,606 applicants this year, Vo is one of 918 outstanding students selected as a scholarship recipient. QuestBridge winners earned an average unweighted GPA of 3.92, received between 1350-1490 on the SAT and between 29-33 on the ACT, and ranked in the top 10 percent of their class. The scholarships cover the full cost of tuition, room, and board, and they require no parental contribution.
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  • College Signing Day 05.11.18

    Friends and family congratulated our final batch of seniors who signed to play college sports Friday, May 11: Benton Ferebee, swimming for Brandeis University; John McBride, playing basketball for University of Mississippi; Bobby Wade, playing lacrosse for Duke University; and Bays Webb, playing football for University of Mississippi. You may download large versions of the photos here.
     
     
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  • Faculty Induct Nine Springfield Scholars

    Students in the top 10 percent of the eighth-grade class earned the coveted title of Springfield Scholars May 10. The 2017-18 honorees are Simeon Betapudi, Collin Craft, Noah Emmert, Mark Hieatt, Dex Jack, Forest Rudd, Garner Uhlhorn, George Zhang, and Kerry Zhao. During an evening banquet with parents in attendance, teachers selected by each boy offered testimonials, describing their student’s outstanding attributes, plus a few amusing quirks. Springfield Scholars from the Class of 2018, Brad Kerkhof and Rick Reinhard, recalled their own induction as eighth graders and offered words of wisdom regarding Upper School opportunities and challenges ahead. Lower School Principal Clay Smythe ’85 presented each scholar with a commemorative tie, pin, and certificate.
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  • Robert Fudge Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

    Headmaster Pete Sanders has recognized Technical Director of Theater Robert Fudge as the 2018 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient.
     
    The Distinguished Teaching Award is given annually to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities. Considered one of the most knowledgeable theater technical directors in the city, Mr. Fudge joined the staff in 2010 and has established a standard of excellence that is manifested every year in the school’s elaborate and beautifully designed stage productions. Known for his quiet professionalism and willingness to go the extra mile, he has also overseen independent study projects, guided students in producing the past three TEDxMemphis events, and expertly managed school and special events held in Hyde Chapel.
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  • Kaltenborn Earns Free Ride

    This week Navy ROTC representatives presented senior Liam Kaltenborn with a full scholarship to the University of Southern California. Assistant Headmaster Barry Ray explained the offer and commended Kaltenborn for his decision.
     
    "When Liam finishes school, he will be commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Navy or join the Naval Reserves to complete his commitment," Ray said. "MUS is always proud of our students who willingly commit to service of our country."
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  • Library News

    Students are encouraged to use the free test preparation sites offered by MUS and the Tennessee Electronic Library. Go to http://musowls.libguides.com/onlinelearning for all the choices we offer. From 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. each morning of Underclassman Exams, the Hyde Library will serve breakfast food and drinks to students.
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  • Zhang Nails AMC with Perfect Score

    Eighth grader George Zhang made a perfect score on the American Mathematics Competition 10-A exam in February. More than 41,000 students participated in the contest nationally; George was one of only 36 students (in Grades 7-10) to earn a perfect score. We consistently have outstanding math students at MUS, but the math instructors do not recall anyone before Zhang who made a perfect score on either the AMC-10 or the AMC-12.
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  • Summer Reading

    Summer reading lists are posted online here. Each student must read three books. On his honor a student should choose books that he has not already read. Students will be tested on all three books during the first week of school. Points are awarded, depending on the test grade earned, to the first-quarter English grade.
     
    We offer summer reading course options, which you can see at musowls.org.summer.
    • Prep for Success: Mastering Summer Reading is a three-week course that will satisfy the summer reading requirement if a student successfully completes the requirements.
    • Reading/Writing Enrichment courses are designed to build vocabulary, reading speed, and comprehension using summer reading books, but students must still take the summer reading test in the fall.
    All summer reading books can be checked out over the summer, and most are also available to be downloaded to your personal device; for instructions, see the library’s Axis 360 Guide
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  • National French Exam Honors

    In chapel this week Instructor in French Becca Keel recognized students for high achievement on Le Grand Concours, the National French Exam. Four students placed in the top-10 rankings in the state: Leo Campbell, 5th place rank in French I; Will Woodmansee, 10th place in French II; and Ryan Gorman, 8th place, and Liam Kaltenborn, 9th place, in French IV.
     
    Madame Keel also recognized these medalists and honorable mention recipients for their achievements:
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  • "The Owl" Gallery of Excellence Induction

    Senior Jackson Moody presented Upper School Principal Barry Ray with the Walsworth 2017-18 Gallery of Excellence award for the school's yearbook, The Owl, in chapel Monday, April 30. The 2017-18 yearbook was inducted into the Gallery of Excellence as a "distinction awarded those yearbooks that consistently demonstrate superior quality," according to Walsworth Publishing. Editors of The Owl were seniors Kayhan Mirza and Jackson Moody. Senior Barry Klug was assistant editor.
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  • Admissions Ambassadors Named

    Director of Admissions Peggy Williamson and Assistant Director of Admissions Buck Towner recently announced the 26 sophomores chosen to serve as ambassadors for the coming school year. As official school hosts, they will lead tours of campus for prospective families and help represent MUS at a number of additional events throughout the year.
     
    “We had 42 students apply, so it’s very competitive,” Towner said. “These ambassadors were chosen through an extensive application and interview process and will serve during their junior and senior years.”
     
    The new ambassadors are as follows:
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  • Seniors Honored with Awards

    Fourteen seniors received the following special honors recognizing their academic, artistic, extracurricular, and community service achievements during this school year:
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  • Webb Gift Provides Studio Upgrades

    Thanks to the generosity of Bita and Jim Webb and their son, Jacob Webb ’18, the control room in Bloodworth Studio is now named in honor of the late John Hiltonsmith for his many years of service to the MUS music program. The family’s gift has made possible substantial upgrades in the Hiltonsmith Control Room. The Webbs along with Hiltonsmith’s younger daughter, Julia, and wife, Sherry, were on hand for the dedication on April 23.

    Standing, from left, are Jacob Webb '18, Director of Music Matt Tutor '91, Headmaster Pete Sanders, Bita Webb, Jim Webb, Julia Hiltonsmith, and Sherry Hiltonsmith. 
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  • Students Receive Special Awards

    At the annual Special Awards and Honor Societies Induction, eight students received special honors and collegiate book awards in recognition of scholastic achievement, leadership, and community service, and 172 students joined honor societies. Faculty, MUS alumni, and special guests presented the awards. Special honorees were as follows:
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  • Transitioning to College

    Sewanee administrator Eric Hartman visited campus last week for a presentation to parents and seniors titled, “Managing What’s NOT on the College Tour.” Hartman, vice-president of risk management and institutional effectiveness at the university, offered valuable information and straight answers about the challenges students can face in college and ways parents can help prepare them.
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  • Delegation Honored at YIG

    A number of students received recognition at the Youth in Government Tri-Star Conference held this month in Nashville. Led by co-advisors Jenny Pratt (instructor in French and Spanish) and Davis Smith (instructor in history), 44 boys attended the event. The following honors were awarded:

    Juniors Joshua Blackburn and Wood Davis: Outstanding Bill Team
    Sophomore Arjun Puri: MUS Delegation Award
    Sophomores Jack Fernandez and Vijdan Gill: Supreme Court “Final Case” Team
    Freshmen Harmon Colvett and Fawwaz Omer: Outstanding Novice Supreme Court Brief
    Freshman Griffin Hood: Outstanding Delegate
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  • Mock Trial Team Reaches State

    After five months of hard work and challenging city finals, the Mock Trial Team placed eighth in state competition in Nashville in March. Serving as attorneys for both the plaintiff and defense sides were seniors William Miller and Stan Smythe and sophomore James Smythe. Performing witness roles for both sides were seniors Smith Duncan and Barry Klug and junior Henry Duncan.
     
    “This team made all of us quite proud in four rounds of intense competition,” said team advisor and English Department Chair Elizabeth Crosby. 
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  • Owls Celebrate Signings

    We celebrated another college commitment day April 11 in Wunderlich Lobby as seniors Conner Hobbs (baseball, Southwest Community College), Rick Reinhard (swimming, Washington University, St. Louis), and Rucker Wilkinson (lacrosse, Sewanee) made their decisions known. Download large versions of event photos here.
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  • Johns Hopkins Visit, April 28

    Upper School students interested in learning about Johns Hopkins University are welcome to meet university representatives Saturday, April 28, at 2 p.m. in the Wunderlich Auditorium. Register here.
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  • 2018-19 Student Leaders Named

    The following Owls were elected to leadership positions for the coming school year: top row, from left, Student Council President - J.J. Johnson; Student Council Vice President - Call Ford; Student Council Secretary-Treasurer - Trey Fussell; Student Council Commissioner of Student Welfare - JoJo Fogarty; bottom row, Honor Council President - Stephen Christenbury; Senior Class President - John Mann; Student Council Commissioner of Student Athletics - Devin Malone; Student Council Commissioner of Special Activities - Reagan Griffin; and Student Council Commissioner of Social Events - Emerson Manley.
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  • Save the Date for Freshman Forum, August 7

    Families of rising freshmen: Please put Owl Freshman Forum on your calendar for August 7, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., in Wunderlich Auditorium. This fun and informative program orients new ninth graders to the Upper School environment. More details will come later this summer. Contact Director of Counseling Joe Abrahams at joe.abrahams@musowls.org with any questions.
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  • Varner Lands Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

    The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has selected senior AJ Varner to receive a Cooke Scholars award. The scholarship, up to $40,000 annually, is intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses – including tuition, living expenses, books, and required fees. Cooke Scholars additionally are eligible for graduate school funding of up to $75,000.
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  • National Honor Society Inducts New Members

    Current members of the National Honor Society tapped 32 junior and senior inductees in a schoolwide ceremony March 23 highlighting the organization’s emphasis on scholarship, leadership, character, and service. Four seniors spoke on these Honor Society characteristics.
     
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  • MATHCOUNTS Champs

    Coach Meredith McFarlin's team of eighth graders Alex Li, Samuel Lim, George Zhang, Forest Rudd, Mark Hieatt, and Kerry Zhao, and seventh graders Aaron Barawid and Parth Mishra won the regional MATHCOUNTS championship in early February at Southwest Tennessee Community College. The fearsome foursome of Hieatt, Rudd, Zhang, and Zhao then advanced to conquer the state competitions in March! The national championship in Washington, DC, will begin mid-May.
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  • Challenged Literature Takes Center Stage

    During a chapel program on banned and frequently challenged books, Chair of the English Department Elizabeth Crosby listed some surprising titles that have fallen into that category at one time or another – Where the Wild Things Are, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Winnie the Pooh, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Odyssey, The Canterbury Tales, The Red Pony, and many other classics.
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  • Science Teachers Partner with Rhodes College

    As partners for Rhodes College’s Collaborative Chemistry Communities course this semester, MUS science instructors are working with Rhodes college science majors and providing them the opportunity for experiential learning by giving them teaching time in our classrooms. The Rhodes students are getting invaluable experience in high school science pedagogy and the dynamics of different classroom environments, interacting with our students and drawing from our faculty members’ experience teaching boys.
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  • Mid-South Chess Camp, June 10-15

    Mid-South Chess will offer a summer chess camp June 10-15 at MUS. Open to all ages and all levels, the camp features coaching from Grandmasters and International and National Masters. Information and registration at www.chesscamp.us.
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  • Cum Laude Inducts 20 Members

    Twenty MUS juniors and seniors were inducted into the Cum Laude Society, an organization modeled on Phi Beta Kappa that represents the highest academic honor students in a secondary school can achieve. 
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  • Summer Program Registration Open

    Online registration is open for Summer Programs! We offer a wide variety of academic, athletic, and leadership opportunities for boys, plus a handful of co-ed camps (AP History prep, essay writing, and drum corps). Click HERE to learn more and register.
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  • Latin Students Garner National Medals

    Seventeen Bubones earned medals at the 2017-18 National Classical Etymology Exam. In the Advanced Level, Latin IV, juniors Brandan Roachell and Loyd Templeton earned Silver Medals, and junior Ethan Hurst earned a Bronze.
     
    In the Intermediate Level, Latin III, sophomore Kyle Koester earned a Silver Medal. Freshmen brought home the medals in the Intermediate Level, Latin II, with Will Schuessler earning Gold; Cooper Grinspun, Fawwaz Omer, Samy Paul, and Ryan Peng earning Silver; and Akbar Latif and Cullen Lonergan capturing Bronze. In the Novice Level, Latin I, eighth graders Mark Hieatt, Talal Siddiq, and Forest Rudd earned Gold Medals; eighth grader Simeon Betapudi took Silver; and eighth grader Alex Li and seventh grader Jack Zaptin earned Bronze.
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  • 12 Owls Advance as National Merit Finalists

    Twelve seniors have been named Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program – Graham Boswell, Benjamin Freeman, Eli Gruen, Jackson Howell, Jeremy Jacobs, Liam Kaltenborn, Brad Kerkhof, Jackson Moody, Rick Reinhard, Bobby Wade, Mason Williams, and Chang Yu.
     
    MUS had the highest number of National Merit Semifinalists (13) among independent schools in the Memphis area. Twenty-three percent of the Class of 2018 received recognition from the scholarship program, including 11 National Merit Commended students, some of whom missed the threshold to advance to the Semifinalist level by as little as 1 point.
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  • Inclement Weather Policy

    In the event of a school closing or change to school hours because of weather conditions, MUS will use Owls Alerts to notify you via email, phone message, and text. In addition, we will post pertinent information on our website, in our social media, and through local news stations. Coaches will text information to their teams about practices and games.
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  • Upper School Class Registration

    Registration for 2018-19 Upper School classes will begin in February. Each student in Grades 8-11 will receive a registration form that he should complete in consultation with a parent and bring back to school with a parent’s signature. Next, each student will meet with a registration counselor to discuss and finalize course requests. Registration should conclude in April.
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  • National Merit Program Honors 24 Owls

    The 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program has recognized 24 Owls, which is 23 percent of the senior class.

    Thirteen seniors have been named National Merit Semifinalists – the highest number of recipients among independent schools in the Memphis area. The Semifinalists are Graham Boswell, Benjamin Freeman, Eli Gruen, Omkar Hosad, Jackson Howell, Jeremy Jacobs, Liam Kaltenborn, Brad Kerkhof, Jackson Moody, Rick Reinhard, Bobby Wade, Mason Williams, and Chang Yu.

    They are among 16,000 U.S. students, or less than 1 percent of U.S. seniors, honored as Semifinalists for their outstanding academic promise. They now compete for some 7,500 scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered beginning in the spring.
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  • Rogers Leadership Forum, Jan. 19

    MUS will host Mr. Anthony M. Flynn during our annual Rogers Leadership Forum for students January 19. Flynn is founder of The Gifted Education Foundation and author of “The Execution Pipeline: A Step-by-Step Guide to Moving Your Business Idea from Dream to Reality.”
     
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