Robertson Scholars Leadership Program announces Class of 2020

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Robertson Scholars Leadership Program announces Class of 2020


(Chapel Hill, N.C. – May 16, 2016) – Thirty high school graduates have accepted invitations to become Robertson Scholars, receiving merit scholarships to attend either the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or Duke University.


The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program’s financial benefits include full tuition, room and board and mandatory fees for four years of undergraduate study, in addition to three summers of domestic and international experiences.


The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program invests in young leaders who strive to make transformational contributions to society. Scholars are selected based on students’ demonstration of outstanding academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, force of moral character, purposeful leadership and collaborative spirit.


Robertson Scholars matriculate to one university while receiving student privileges at both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, including opportunities to pursue second majors and minors, enroll in courses and participate in student activities. During the academic year, the Robertson Program provides customized offerings designed to encourage scholars to realize their full leadership potential.


The Robertson Program was created in 2000 through a $24 million gift from Julian Robertson, a 1955 graduate of Carolina, and his wife, Josie. Inspired by their sons — one of whom graduated from Duke in 1998, and another from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2001 — the Robertsons believed that each institution offered a distinctive undergraduate experience, but that the combination of the two promised a breadth and depth of resources that no other university could match.


The Robertson alumni network consists of approximately 345 leaders on six continents, linked together by a common goal to make positive and palpable contributions to their communities.


The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program Class of 2020 is listed below, alphabetically by country and, in the U.S., by state.


Scholars at Duke University:



Georgia Simone Lala, Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland

Siyuan “Michael” Zhang, James Hargest College, Invercargill



Trenton Blitz Bricken, Eton College, London

Ibrahim Butt of Blackburn, Cardinal Newman College, Blackburn

Thomas Cooley Wanty, IV, St. Paul’s School, London




Christina Evie Boghosian, Marlborough School, Beverly Hills

*Melanie Farfel, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego

Brooke Chanel Porter, The Thacher School, Rancho Cucamonga



Beza Gebremariam, Overland High School, Aurora


New York

Kameron Sedigh, Kings Park High School, Kings Park


North Carolina

Chinonyelum “Nonnie” Christine Egbuna, Parkland IB Magnet High School, Clemmons

Rasheca Logendran, Raleigh Charter High School, Raleigh



Ralph Ignacio Lawton, Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, Avondale



Reshini Diandra Premaratne, Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School, Glen Allen


Scholars at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:



Dikenna Awoke Ogbo, African Leadership Academy, Honeydew




Aakash Manohar Thumaty, Saratoga High School, Saratoga



Emily McKenzie Kian, North Broward Preparatory School, Boca Raton

Divya Mahesh, Allen D. Nease High School, St. Augustine



Anne Frances Dempsey, Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, Kennesaw



Hanna Elisabeth Watson, Andover High School, Wichita


New York

Andrea F. Gonzales, Hunter College High School, Bronx


North Carolina

Shivpriya “Priya” Sridhar, William G. Enloe High School, Raleigh

Rebecca Darci Sullenger, Carrboro High School, Chapel Hill



Evan Thomas Rodgers, The Wellington School, Upper Arlington



Cara Lee Price, South Fayette High School, Bridgeville

Matthew Alexander Schaefer, Radnor High School, Newton Square



Brock Campbell Schoenwald, Brentwood Academy, Brentwood



Samia Daghestani, Science Academy of South Texas, McAllen



Sydney Ariah Adams, Collegiate School, Midlothian

Peter James Andringa , Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Vienna


*Chosen in 2015, deferred admission until this year.


For more information on the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program, visit or contact




About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.


UNC-Chapel Hill Communications and Public Affairs contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090,

Duke News & Communications contact: Steve Hartsoe, (919) 681-4515,