Five Seniors Named National Merit Semifinalists

Five Rockhurst High School seniors have been announced as National Merit Semifinalists.  They are (pictured left to right, between Fr. Principal Vincent Giacabazi, SJ, and President David Laughlin: Charlie Lundstrom, Wes Roeder, Thomas Kennedy, James Donohue, and Max Smith.
More than 1.5 million students entered the 2023 competition last school year by taking the 2021 PSAT, which serves as the initial screen for program entrants. Around 50,000 earned the highest index score to qualify for National Merit Scholarship Program recognition.  Of those top students, approximately one-third, or about 16,000, are named as Semifinalists.
Looking forward to February, some 15,000 Semifinalists will be notified that they have been selected to Finalist standing.
James Donohue on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"The National Merit Semifinalist selection, for me, is a demonstration of all the hard work that I have put into my education and all of the support and assistance I have received throughout my high school journey from teachers, classmates, friends, and family.
Following graduation from Rockhurst I hope to pursue a degree and career in engineering. Currently I am most interested in electrical or mechanical engineering and KU is at the top of my list for colleges.
My favorite things about Rockhurst include its rigorous academics, numerous co-curricular activities, supportive staff and teachers, and, most of all, its amazing brotherhood of students. I am very involved with the Speech and Debate team as a Senior leader and am part of this year's Freshman Retreat Core Team.
I really appreciate all of the love and support from everyone in my life that has allowed me to become the man I am today and achieve great successes such as this."

Thomas Kennedy on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"The National Merit Semifinalist selection has provided me an opportunity to bring my goal of becoming a doctor one step closer. Given the cost of medical school, I hope to avoid taking out loans to pay for my undergraduate degree, and National Merit Scholarships make that goal more achievable. As such, I am incredibly grateful that I was selected. 
So far my college list includes Creighton, University of Denver, Saint Louis University, University of Chicago, University of Richmond, and UMKC's six year BA/MD program. Throughout high school, I've loved classes in biology, history, Spanish, English, and more, so I'm almost completely undecided on what to major in. Regardless of my major, I do want to eventually attend medical school and become a doctor. 
My two favorite things about Rockhurst have been the sense of community and the idea of being 'men for others'. The Rockhurst community always feels supportive and high-spirited, and I've met some amazing people throughout my time here, particularly on the speech and debate team. I also appreciate that Rockhurst not only focuses on providing excellent education, but also encourages us to use that education for the betterment of others and society."

Charlie Lundstrom on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"I am happy for the National Merit Semifinalist recognition. I have worked hard at my studies for my time at Rockhurst, and being recognized for it feels like a great payoff.
I plan to go to college and major in computer science, economics, or Latin, but I am unsure as to where I will go or what I will do afterwards. 
I love the teachers at Rockhurst and their passion. I am a member of the Scholar Bowl Team, the cross country team, and a member of the Mock Trial Team. I also play in the Pep Band. Outside of Rockhurst, I spend a lot of time in Scouts and am an Eagle Scout. 
I love to read and I attribute much of my success to that passion."

Wes Roeder on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"To me, being a National Merit Semifinalist is a great honor. It shows that the hard work my fellow Semifinalists and I have put into our education is paying off. Rockhurst has done an excellent job to prepare me, not only for this test but for my future as a successful young man. 
I am currently in the process of applying to colleges, mostly those with strong engineering programs because I want to major in engineering with a potential business minor. 
My favorite thing about Rockhurst is that it is not just a school, but a community. There are countless co-curricular activities available and many ways to get involved. The variety of co-curriculars allows students to find their own niche within the community. I, personally, am involved in the school’s French Club, Future Business Leaders of America chapter, volleyball program, St. Joseph of Arimethea Society, and National Honor Society chapter. 
I would like to thank my parents for sending me to Rockhurst and all of my teachers for their contributions to my education over the past three years. This award would not have been possible without their efforts."

Max Smith on his National Merit Semifinalist selection:
"Being a National Merit Semifinalist, while intrinsically a great honor, is certainly a validation of my hard work. From the very beginning of my time at Rockhurst, I have taken my studies very seriously; to be recognized in this manner confirms that my dedication can pay off. 
I plan to study mechanical engineering or computer science (or both) at college. While I am still in the process of applying to different colleges, I would love to go to school on the west coast, California in particular. As for my career, I want to be involved with space exploration.
What makes Rockhurst so different from other area schools is its strange way of making a class of two hundred guys from all over the city genuinely care for one another, a reality that I can’t really express in writing. Ultimately, this community has done nothing but guide and support me throughout the past four years, and I will always cherish the friendships that I have been able to form here.
I run track & field and play football, and am involved with Scholar Bowl and the Freshman Retreat."