Two seniors, William Douglas Leimenstoll and Henry Laurence Ross, have earned 2013-14 scholarships from the Henry Luce Foundation in New York.
The Luce Scholars Program funds a year of living and learning in East and Southeast Asia for recent college graduates up to the age of 30 with limited prior experience of the continent. The foundation’s goal is to connect future American leaders with Asian colleagues in their fields. Selection criteria include outstanding academic achievement and leadership ability.
With 35 Luce Scholars since the program began in 1974, Carolina leads the nation in Luce recipients. This year, 68 colleges and universities nationwide nominated a record 168 candidates; the foundation chose 18 Luce Scholars. Carolina was the only institution with more than one winner.
The value of the award varies by assignment. The scholars will learn their assignments in June, spend part of the summer in the region for intensive language study and then start their 10-month internships in September.
“Will and Henry deserve praise for their outstanding academic achievements as well as for their unrelenting commitment to use their skills to address pressing problems on campus as well as throughout the world,” said Linda Dykstra, director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships, which helps students interested in prestigious scholarship opportunities like the Luce. “Will reveals his commitment through his efforts to affirm sustainable urban environments; Henry’s commitment is apparent in his tireless efforts to defend justice and honor.”
Leimenstoll is an environmental studies major and city planning minor. He serves as the student body president. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s highest honor society for college students, and is a member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
He has participated in the North Carolina Outward Bound leadership program and has studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, through Honors Carolina. He is an active participant in the Buckley Public Service Scholars program and has completed more than 300 hours of community service. He also volunteers as campus tour guide in the Carolina Ambassadors program.
As a Luce Scholar, he plans to study sustainable city planning and urban design by looking at Asia’s rapid population and economic growth. In the future, he hopes to build and design environmentally friendly buildings and neighborhoods in the U.S.
Ross is a classics major and biology minor and a Morehead-Cain Scholar. At Carolina, he has served as a counsel in UNC’s student-run honor system and currently serves as the deputy student attorney general and solicitor general for the student body. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and is a member of Chi Psi fraternity.
Ross has pursued international research in Cape Town, South Africa, and taught school in rural Zimbabwe. On campus, he’s taken graduate-level studies in Latin and received the 2012 Preston H. and Miriam L. Epps Prize in Greek Studies, the top classics award for undergraduates. He also has served as captain of the squash team.
He spent last summer working as an investigator for the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., and hopes to attend law school in the future.
“The Luce Scholars Program is an extraordinary opportunity for the next generation of American leaders to understand and learn from their Asian counterparts,” said Raymond B. Farrow III, director of development and strategic initiatives for Carolina Performing Arts, chair of the UNC Luce nominating committee and a former Luce Scholar. “Will and Henry have bright and compelling futures, and their year in Asia will undoubtedly shape their lives and professional outlooks in important ways. It will be an adventure, and I am thrilled for them.”