News - Kirk Pearce Awarded With 2015 President's Citation

Kirk Pearce Awarded With 2015 President's Citation

President Ivan Filby with Kirk Pearce '15For Kirk Pearce ’15, opening the message from Virginia Tech earlier this year was a lot like drawing the treasured “Chance” card in Monopoly®:

“Advance directly to our Ph.D. program in theoretical chemistry. When you pass ‘Go,’ collect a full tuition waiver and more than $20,000 in stipend.” Kirk will attend Virginia Tech in the fall.

Striking that generous offer had less to do with chance, however, and more to do with Kirk’s outstanding preparation throughout his undergraduate career at Greenville College. There, he majored in chemistry and physics, gained experience in science research, and lettered in Panther football all four years.


Kirk learned early that preparation pays big dividends. “In terms of classroom academic performance, Kirk is exceptional,” observed Professor of Chemistry Darrell Iler, director of STEM programs. Iler keeps copies of Kirk’s lab reports on hand as models of exemplary work – “the kind of professional standards for which I want my students to aim,” says Iler.

A veteran of the Greenville College-Summer Research Experience, Kirk engaged in science research last summer at the University of California. He continued that research at GC during his senior year and drew from it to complete an honors thesis. Iler said Kirk’s “extensive preparation, knowledge and passion for the project” made his thesis exceptional.

Kirk also worked with Professor Hyung Choi in GC’s new Quantum Information Laboratory on a state-of-the-art quantum entanglement swapping experiment. 


Imagine drawing the treasured “advance” card seven times in rapid succession and you will get a flavor of Kirk’s experience opening the mail this spring. He drew seven offers from leading universities, all with full tuition waivers and stipends that exceeded $20,000. Three of the schools that knew about Kirk’s research experience sweetened their offers with additional fellowship positions.

Kirk Pearce '15Even before suitors like Northwestern University, Georgia Tech and University of Illinois came calling, Kirk demonstrated broad appeal. It reached beyond the classroom to the football field, where, according to Coach Robbie Schomaker, Kirk inspired his teammates to press on through adversity. Schomaker observed that Kirk was never the fastest, strongest or biggest player, but certainly one of the most astute, paying close attention to how he would position his body to accomplish what he needed to accomplish. 

One of Kirk’s chosen strategic positions off the field was spending time with younger players, helping them learn the playbook. He rendered the assistance with a spirit of grace and care.

Kirk received the GC Trustee Scholarship, the Greenville College Scholarship and the Ralph J. Miller Physics Scholarship. You can extend GC’s heritage today by investing in scholars and athletes like Kirk. Give online now.

Read about other recent GC Presidential Citation Awardees:

2014 Naomi Brown

2013 Hannah Groves

2012 Amber Brown and Amada DiMiele

2012 Cody Davison

This story was published on June 03, 2015

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