Top Wando scholar declines Ivy League for Texas school
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Post and Courier has been following three students through their senior year in high school. This is the eighth article on Bogdan Bordieanu, a top honors student at Wando High School.
BY DAVE MUNDAY
The acceptance letters from Princeton, Dartmouth and Cornell sit on a desk in Bogdan Bordieanu’s bedroom, along with a letter from Harvard advising him he’s still on a waiting list.
But Wando High School’s top senior scholar is wearing a T-shirt from another college.
He’s made his decision. He’s heading to the University of Texas at Dallas later this summer. He’ll be attending on a McDermott Scholarship, which pays full room, board, tuition and travel abroad for research.
A couple of weeks ago, Princeton was his top choice. The Ivy League school offered him a scholarship, too, although it wouldn’t have paid for everything.
“Money was not the biggest factor,” Bogdan said last week. “I think the factor was that by attending the University of Dallas, I would have more support from the professors and the general community there. I think it will help me succeed more in my undergraduate studies than at Princeton. Because at Princeton, everybody is a bright student, so it’s harder to get noticed by professors.”
He said he was impressed by the students he met when he visited the Dallas campus in February.
He was one of about 60 students from all over the country competing for 20 scholarship offers.
“I went there open-minded but not expecting much,” he said, “because it was not Ivy League and I hadn’t heard of this school before. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting much. Then I got there and was blown away by the other students who were there. I don’t think I’ve met a group of students who were as intelligent as them.”
He said he visited the school in the first place at the recommendation of his math teacher, Larry Crosswell, who is also the coach of his math quiz bowl team.
Although a scholar, Bogdan maintains a healthy social life. He went to the senior prom last Saturday with fellow student Lilli Mack.
“She’s a great girl,” he said with a shy smile.
They met up with about 20 friends for photos and dinner before the dance at the Omar Shrine Temple at Patriots Point.
Classes start winding down for seniors in about two weeks. Graduation is May 31.
Bogdan has been leading his class in grades all year and hopes to be the valedictorian. He hasn’t started working on a speech yet.
“I don’t want to jinx it or anything,” he said.
After he graduates, he will work for two months (without pay) as a researcher in the Medical University of South Carolina’s neuroscience department.
“I’ll start to learn the basics of researching,” he said. “It will give me another opportunity to see if I like it or not.”
His main interest is mathematics, but he says the medical field is a possibility for him.
“It’s between the medical field and mathematics and engineering,” he said. “Probably, it will be one of those things.”
He admits he will miss his house in Planter’s Point and the greenery of Charleston when he heads off to Texas. But he’s ready for a new adventure.
“Just for the next couple of months just to enjoy Charleston as much as I can,” he said.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.