They've been on campus for nearly two months now, their freshman year whizzing by as quickly as the leaves on campus have turned from green to golden, the weather having gone from hot to harvest. And in that time, the University's 10 newest National Merit Scholars have garnered the attention and admiration of the campus and the surrounding community.
University of Nevada System Chancellor Jim Rogers, in his "State of the System" address last week in Reno, cited the presence of the University's National Merit students as a point of pride for University President Milton Glick, and the University as a whole.
"Milt told me last week that he had gotten 10 of the National Merit Scholars," Rogers said, then added, "We have to be in the business of keeping the best at home."
Glick will formally welcome the 10 students to campus with a special reception in the Clark Room of Morrill Hall, Wednesday, Oct. 17, from 3-4:30 p.m.
For the "talented" 10 National Merits, Nevada has quickly become home.
Raymond Hooft, 18, a freshman from Sparks majoring in civil engineering, said he chose Nevada following a concerted recruiting effort by the University.
"It was how much they seemed to want me," he said. "I met with President Glick and (former) Provost (John) Frederick, and after meeting with all kinds of people, I kind of felt at home."
Joshua Gansberg, 18, a National Merit Scholar from Carson City, said location was also important in his decision to attend Nevada. Just as important, though, was the quality of instruction and education he felt he would receive at Nevada.
"Why go far away to get basically the same caliber of school?" he asked.
For Glick, the extra effort to recruit National Merits is clearly part of his overall plan to create a culture of completion at the University.
"Having the best and brightest in our classrooms elevates the learning experience for everyone," he said. "When faculty know that they are teaching the best students, they treat all the students differently. They have higher expectations and students respond accordingly."