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Robertson Scholarship and National Merit Scholarship Winner
Wayne Country Day School once again has the pleasure of announcing recent achievements of an outstanding member of the class of 2022, Rohan Shreenath. As we went to print the news of one new distinction, we learned of another!  

This past fall Rohan became a National Merit Scholarship Competition (NMSC) semi-finalist, and we are now especially proud to celebrate his selection as a National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winner!  According to NMSC’s media release of May 11, 2022, this year’s winners were chosen from more than 15, 000 finalists nationally.  Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They are selected by a committee of college admission officers and high school counselors who review substantial information submitted by the students and their high school. This includes the academic record, scores from the PSAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, leadership and community activities, an essay written by the finalist and a recommendation written by a high school official.  By the end of the 2022 competition, about 7, 500 Finalists earned the “Merit Scholar’’ title and received a total of nearly $28 million in college scholarship. 

To add to all the excitement Rohan was also selected as a Duke Robertson Scholar for the Class of 2026!  He is not easy to catch hold of this month as he travels between the colleges from which he received acceptance letters, but we did manage an interview by email.  Take a moment to get to know this exemplary student and future leader!

Rohan, first of all, let me say that we are so proud of you for all that you have achieved as a student at Wayne Country Day. Your classmates say you will be legend, and I bet that prediction comes true! Congrats on being selected for a Duke Robertson Scholarship.  What process did you have to go through to get to this day?

“First, I applied for the scholarship directly through the program. The   application consisted of background information, extracurricular activities, test scores, grades, and two essays. From there, I was chosen as a semifinalist, which involved two steps. I participated in an interview with two people within the Robertson Foundation and answered an asynchronous interview question regarding a moral dilemma and how I would respond. Finally, after being chosen as a finalist, I completed another interview round, which included friends/family of scholarship founder Julian Robertson, in addition to people of the Robertson Foundation. I found out I was selected as a scholar on March 10th.”

How did you feel when going through this process? When you found out you were a Duke Robertson?

“I felt honored to be selected through each step of the process. I was both nervous and excited at the same time and anxious to find out if I made it through the next step. After being selected as a Robertson, I was ecstatic and extremely thankful for the honor and the opportunity.”

What do you think might be the benefits of receiving this honor?

“In addition to the financial benefits of a full-ride, this scholarship will provide me with a unique opportunity to explore the resources offered by two world class institutions in Duke and UNC. I will have the opportunity to interact with a cohort of diverse individuals within the Robertson Class of 2026. Additionally, through conferences, introspection, and plenty of meetings with people involved in the Robertson program and other industry leaders, I believe this scholarship will better prepare me to grow as a leader and use those skills to make impactful social change.”

What message do you have for others who might be interested in the Robertson?

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there for this scholarship. Work hard and believe in yourself.”

Just what is the Robertson some of you may want to know? The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program is a shared merit scholarship and leadership development program at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Scholars have the opportunity to attend classes at both Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill. Approximately 25-30 students are selected from more than 100,000 applications to the two schools each year.  Created in 2000 by benefactor Julian Robertson, a 1955 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, and primary goal was to encourage collaboration between Duke and the University of North Carolina and to promote the development of young leaders.

For scholars, four years of undergraduate tuition, mandatory fees, room and board, and full funding for three summer experiences is awarded. Funding is available to Robertson scholars for two semesters of study abroad, as well as summer research opportunities and internships.
Ultimately, “Robertson Scholars are a community of leaders within Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, striving to make transformational contributions to society.” 

Wayne County residents may already be familiar with Rohan and his partnership with Wayne County Public Library Humans of Wayne County (HOWC). Rohan interviews a diverse group of Wayne Country residents and shares the conversations with our community both orally and in written format on the library’s webpage. You can see his most recent contributions and archived posts at

“Humans of Wayne County is a perfect way to celebrate our differences, while at the same time show that we are all proud members of the Wayne County community. It highlights that even though we are physically distanced, we can still be socially connected,” says Rohan.

Rohan has also served as a Youth Member of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, the Mayor’s Youth Council, and attended Governor’s School at High Point University studying Social Science. Recently we heard of even more accolades for Rohan. He was accepted to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and had some serious decisions to make. Wouldn’t we all like to have those  kind of choices?  (He decided to accept the Robertson Scholarship at Duke University). Congratulations to Rohan, his very proud parents and family, and to all of those who supported Rohan’s academic and personal growth and guided him to this point on his path to a great future!

A few words from our Head of School and faculty members that express the esteem in which he is held:

“Rohan is an amazing student who typifies all of what we hope for in our students. He is bright, kind, and truly humble. His legacy is more than one of achievement, it is a legacy of community, relationships, and common care. He is an exemplar of our core values of honesty, respect, responsibility, and kindness.” - Matt Jacobs, Head of School, Wayne Country Day School

“It is difficult to overstate Rohan's many contributions to Wayne Country Day and our community. Whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, or through his community service, he gives his best. It is a pleasure and honor to not only know Rohan but to celebrate his many achievements and successes“- Cathie Hooks WCDS Faculty

“Rohan had been pivotal in bringing the AP Capstone program to Wayne Country Day School. He had heard about the program and suggested to our headmaster and the Head of the Upper School that WCDS would benefit from making it a part of our curriculum. It is in my capacity as his teacher in AP Seminar (last Year) and AP Research (this year) that I have had the privilege of working with him again.”  - Susan Smith WCDS Faculty

Well done, Rohan!