August 05, 2004

Megan Pankey wins presidential scholarship

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Megan Pankey, a graduate of Herrin High School, is the recipient of a presidential scholarship from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Pankey is one of 19 incoming freshmen who make up the third group of presidential scholars. SIU President James E. Walker created the Presidential Scholars Program three years ago, saying it "rewards Illinois high school students who have worked hard in the classroom and who have been actively involved in their school and community."The award provides tuition, fees, and room and board for four years. For the upcoming school year, that's a total of $11,540 for Pankey, daughter of Thomas and Susan Pankey of Herrin.

Minimum eligibility requirements are an ACT (American College Test) composite score of 29, a 3.75 grade point average on a 4.0 (perfect) scale, leadership qualities and Illinois residency.

This year's scholars recorded an average ACT score of 32.89; 36 is the maximum score. All the recipients ranked in the top 2 percent of their high school graduating class.

Pankey's honors include being named an Illinois State Scholar, serving as president of the National Honor Society and receiving the Female Scholar Athlete Award, Tigerette of the Year award and Daughters of the American Revolution Award. Her activities included membership in the Student Council, Student Chamber of Commerce, the yearbook staff, the math team and the Olympiad team.

She plans to major in art.