WCSU scholarships paved his path to academic success
David Strout '10

WCSU 2010 graduate David Strout’s life has been a testament to perseverance and determination since he first applied to Western and was offered a probationary semester on the basis of his less-than-stellar high school record. Last year Strout earned his Western bachelor’s degree with a perfect 4.0 GPA, and he returned this fall to share his story at the university’s annual Recognition Reception for Donors and Scholars.

A professional writing major with a minor in conflict resolution, Strout received more than a few scholarships himself, and recognizes the important role that scholarships can play in making a Western education affordable and affirming academic excellence. “WestConn’s financial aid was a tremendous help — without it, I could not have attended college,” he remarked.

Strout was drawn to Western to pursue his dream of a college education close to his New Milford home and went on to post a record of academic accomplishments among the most impressive in his graduating class. Among the many honors received during his studies were the Alumni Award, the President’s Award, the Barnard Award, the WCSU Merit Scholarship, the Jason and Ellen Hancock Memorial Scholarship, and the Louise Kolb Excellence in Tutoring Award. He was a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society, the National Dean’s List and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and earned the State General Assembly Citation for Academic Achievement.

In addition to the many hours devoted to his studies and to work to support himself during his college education, Strout found many occasions to give back while he was a student. He served as the co-editor-in-chief and senior editor of the literary magazine “Black & White,” and mentored fellow students as a tutor in the university’s writing and tutoring labs.

His advises new students to explore everything the university has to offer until they find what they like. “You’ll get back everything you put into it,” he observed from his own academic experience at Western. “The professors are there for the students and really care about teaching.”

One of the aspects of college life he most cherished was that “it is astoundingly easy to take a great idea, or valuable mistake, and run with it as far as you can,” he said. “But you have to come up with the idea and ask to run with it — so start a club, make an independent study, chat with professors as well as peers. Don’t stop being whatever you hope to be when you leave a classroom. If you’re the sort of person who needs to love what you do, make sure you find that job and do it.”

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