A pair of Richland 2 graduates have been named Carolina Scholars, the University of South Carolina's most prestigious honor for incoming, in-state freshmen, the school announced Monday.
The local winners:
Ming Yee Wong, daughter of Annie and Clement Wong of Columbia. Wong is a graduate of Spring Valley High School in Columbia.
Charles Harper, son of Brenda and Lem Harper of Columbia. Harper is a graduate of Richland Northeast High School in Columbia.
“The Carolina Scholar award is the flagship scholarship at the state’s flagship university, and the companion McNair Scholar award [for out-of-state students] is nationally competitive, each attracting the best and brightest students from our state, region and nation,” Scott Verzyl, USC’s associate vice president for enrollment management and director of undergraduate admissions, said in a press release.
“These students come to USC with many accomplishments and talents, and our goal is to help create the conditions for these outstanding students to achieve the highest levels of academic success here at USC and beyond, wherever their careers may take them. We have high expectations for our top scholars, and not surprisingly they usually exceed them.”
More than 2,200 students applied for the Carolina and McNair Scholars awards, making it the largest and most competitive applicant pool in the university’s history, the school said.
USC invited 90 finalists to campus to compete for the Carolina and McNair scholarships. This year’s 20 McNair Scholars include students from eight states, while the Carolina Scholars come from nine counties in South Carolina.
In addition to Wong and Harper, Laura Elizabeth Dean, daughter of Teresa and Joseph Dean Jr. of Columbia, was named a Carolina Scholar finalist. She is a graduate of Richland Northeast High School.