Willamette Academy celebrates the achievements of 23 graduates

Willamette University President Steve Thorsett and Margarita Gutierrez ’12 will speak at this year’s Willamette Academy graduation ceremony May 24 at Willamette University.

The Willamette and Salem communities are invited to attend the 6:30 p.m. event in Hudson Hall to honor 23 academy students who are graduating from high school. All are slated to attend college in the fall at several schools, including Willamette University, Western Oregon University, Oregon State University and Chemeketa Community College.

The students have earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in college scholarships, including one who received the Gates Millennium Scholarship, a highly competitive award that funds the entire cost of a student’s undergraduate education.

The program — available to need-based minority students who demonstrate academic excellence — also funds the cost of graduate school for those pursuing careers in computer science, education, engineering and other select fields. 

“We are very proud of our class of 2012 and the accomplishments that they have achieved,” said Michele Gray, executive director of the academy. “The academy students have formed great friendships with the staff and their peers, and we wish them only the best as they start their college education.”
Other scholarships won by the students include Willamette University’s Academic Leadership Award, the Boys and Girls Club Scholarship, Oregon State University’s Dubach and Diversity Achievement scholarships, a Salem Electric Scholarship and a West Salem Rotary Scholarship. 

Willamette Academy is a supplemental education college-access program that helps underrepresented students become first in their families to attend college. The academy serves local students from their eighth-grade year through their high school graduation.