U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Thursday that Umar Aulia '20 has been named a 2020 United States Presidential Scholar.
The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects 161 scholars annually based on their academic success, essays, school evaluations and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership and demonstrated commitment to high ideals. Being named a United States Presidential Scholar is one of the highest honors the Nation can bestow upon a graduating high school senior.
Of the 3.6 million students expected to graduate from high school this year, more than 5,300 candidates qualified for the 2020 awards determined by outstanding performance on the College Board SAT or ACT exams or through nominations made by Chief State School Officers, other partner recognition organizations and the National YoungArts Foundation's nationwide YoungArts competition.
“I am incredibly grateful to President Trump, Secretary DeVos and the White House Commission for recognizing me with this immense honor,” said Aulia, who will attend Princeton University in the fall. “I also owe much appreciation to the entire Tower Hill community––but most especially to the innumerable influential teachers, coaches, classmates and lifelong friends I have had the privilege of meeting during my four years at THS.”
The 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars are comprised of one young man and one young woman from each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and U.S. families living abroad, as well as 15 chosen at-large, 20 scholars in the arts and 20 scholars in career and technical education.
Since 1983, each Presidential Scholar has been offered the opportunity to name his or her most influential teacher. Each distinguished teacher is honored with a personal letter from the Secretary of Education. The teacher chosen for recognition by Aulia was Upper School physics teacher Tom Hoch.
In previous years, Presidential Scholars and their honored teachers have been recognized at a special ceremony at the White House, where each Scholar is presented the Presidential Scholars Medallion by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The Presidential Scholars Class of 2020, as well as their honored teachers, will be recognized for their outstanding achievement this summer as public health circumstances permit.A complete list of 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars can be found here.