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Onyeoziri ’18, Talsania ’17 Receive Top Student Awards at Class & Charter Day


Academic achievement prizes, prize scholarships and other recognition of student accomplishments were awarded at Hamilton’s 67th annual Class & Charter Day convocation on Monday, May 8, in Wellin Hall. Among the top prizes, Chidera Onyeoziri ’18 received the Milton F. Fillius Jr. /Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship, and Alec Talsania ’17 was awarded the James Soper Merrill Prize.

Chidera Onyeoziri '18
Chidera Onyeoziri ’18

Chidera Onyeoziri, a Dean’s List Posse student from Brockton, Mass., is a government and history major. She received a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship for Study Abroad in December, and spent the spring semester at the University of Oxford in England, through IFSA-Butler.

Onyeoziri has been a Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center tutor and served as intern to the City of Utica’s Corporation Counsel. She was a COOP Service intern, is a member of the Arthur Levitt Center Social Innovation Team, co-organizer of TEDx at Hamilton, and a multicultural peer mentor. Onyeoziri participated in the Levitt Leadership Institute in 2016.

Class & Charter Day awards

A total of 191 students won prizes and scholarships for public speaking, writing and achievement in all academic disciplines.

view recipient list

The Milton F. Fillius, Jr. /Joseph Drown Prize Scholarship, established by the Joseph Drown Foundation, is awarded to a junior who has been very successful academically, has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities while at Hamilton and who is likely to make a significant contribution to society in the future.

Soper Merrill recipient Alec Talsania is a chemistry and Hispanic studies double major from Fogelsville, Pa. A Dean’s List student, he is two-time men’s varsity soccer captain and was named to the NESCAC Fall All-Academic team in 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Alec Talsania '17
James Soper Merrrill Prize recipient Alec Talsania '17.

As a sophomore and a junior, he received the Leonard and Sue Kingsley Prize Scholarship awarded to a student who has demonstrated the potential for both significant academic achievement and community leadership.

Talsania was among soccer team members who organized a service trip to Guatemala during winter break in 2015 through the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation (GHHF). They spent a week in the village of Chichoy Alto, in the region of Patzun, Chimaltenango, where they worked to help finish building the village school. He studied in Madrid through Hamilton’s academic year in Spain in 2015-16

Talsania is active with Hamilton Against Hunger, is a COOP sidekick for children at Clinton Elementary and a member of HALT.

He will attend medical school after Hamilton.

The James Soper Merrill Prize is awarded to the member of the graduating class “who, in character and influence, has typified the highest ideals of the College.” The winner is selected by the faculty and speaks at Commencement.

A total of 191 students won other prizes and scholarships for public speaking, writing and achievement in all academic disciplines. Visit the Class & Charter Day website to view the complete list of award recipients.

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