A mathematics major, Eli is combining his love for numbers with his passion for music by pursuing a minor in music performance. In fact the talented freshman was taking part in a high school musical last year at West Albany High School when the news about his Presidential Scholarship broke. His choir and band teachers collaborated with OSU admissions officials to heighten the drama; Eli was presented with the Presidential Scholarship after curtain call in front of the entire audience.
The scholarship sealed the deal in favor of OSU for Eli. “Financial aid and stability were a huge plus for me. OSU is also a family school of sorts. My grandfather and parents went to OSU. My older brother is also at OSU.”
As it turns out, Presidential Scholarships also run in the family. Eli’s older brother, Jonah, a forestry senior, is a Presidential Scholar.
“The Presidential Scholarship requires me to take a full load of courses each quarter. Being done with the baccalaureate core courses, I have an opportunity for intellectual exploration and take the classes that interest me.”
At OSU, Eli is exploring diverse interests and finally indulging in a cherished childhood dream: vocal performance. “I played the trombone in high school. But vocal performance is definitely my number one passion.” Growing up, Eli couldn’t afford voice lessons. This year, he achieved a milestone by singing for the first time at an OSU opera, Puccini’s La Rondine.
Eli was urged to take vocal lessons when he auditioned for the OSU choir leading him towards a music minor, which is covered by his scholarship.
He enjoys the academic freedom and the numerous avenues for academic exploration that have opened up. In addition to core classes in mathematics, Eli is taking religious studies courses, a subject that interests him deeply. Having taken a number of AP credit courses in high school, Eli will soon be completing his core requirements, and is eagerly looking forward to expanding his intellectual horizons.
“I feel I have a really great opportunity here. The Presidential Scholarship requires me to take a full load of courses each quarter. Being done with the baccalaureate core courses, I have an opportunity for intellectual exploration and take the classes that interest me,” said Eli. “It is a different world from high school where I was taking a lot of AP credit classes. It is a great space where I can study whatever I want.”
The Albany native’s decision to study mathematics was spurred by a fantastic high school mathematics teacher, not to mention the fact that he has always enjoyed the subject and been good at it. Eli has some unbeatable wisdom for those who experience anxiety associated with mathematics.
“Math isn’t something to be scared of. It is so integral to every part of life. It should be appreciated and respected for what it is — the driving force behind sciences and so many technologies,” said Eli, who also shares that he relies on study plans to help him stay on track.
“I make a two-week plan whenever I fall behind.”
Technically this isn’t Eli’s first year on campus. He spent time at OSU as a child when his father was studying for a master’s degree in civil engineering. “I have very fond memories of being around OSU and mingling with the families of other graduate students at OSU. It was a very happy period in our lives and I am delighted to be back.”
Going from strength to strength
A graduate of Sheldon High School in Eugene, Jordyn Hamilton aspires to attend medical school and become a physician. She is an Honors BioHealth Sciences student with a focus on pre-medicine.
“I shared my personal story in my OSU admissions application, and I would like to believe that made a difference.”