Pottstown Native and Hill School Graduate the Only Pennsylvanian to Win Morehead-Cain Scholarship to North Carolina

Photo of Olivia Zitkus courtesy of The Hill School.

PrintOlivia Zitkus, a Pottstown native and recent graduate of The Hill School, is the only Pennsylvanian and one of just 66 students in the world to receive a 2016 Morehead-Cain scholarship.

Named for its benefactors, John Motley Morehead III and the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation, the Morehead-Cain provides a full four-year scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Morehead-Cain nominees must complete a three-part application process that becomes more selective in each round. The first step is to submit a general application with essays. Applicants who are chosen as semi-finalists then must conduct a 30-minute Skype interview. Finalists are notified in early December, and in early March, UNC hosts a “Finalists’ Weekend” in which all scholarship finalists visit campus for the last round of the interview process.

Zitkus became the third female in Hill School history to accept the highly coveted Morehead-Cain scholarship. The previous two recipients were current Hill trustee Michelle (Schaaf) Gyves, Class of 2002 and My Linh Luu, Class of 2014.

Throughout her four years at The Hill, Zitkus had immersed herself in all areas of school life. An excellent student, Zitkus has maintained a high grade point average while taking some of the school’s most rigorous classes. She played varsity field hockey and varsity track, and she has developed perhaps her strongest niche on stage, starring in three winter musicals and singing in Hill Trebles, the school’s select female vocal group.

“Olivia is the sort of person who enriches a community,” said Patrick Lake, Ph.D., chair of The Hill’s Classics department who has been Zitkus’s adviser for the past two years. “While many students take advantage of all that Hill has to offer, Olivia, by contrast, quite literally made Hill a better place.

“She did so, moreover, while handling the pressures and stresses of it all, with poise, humility, and a perpetual good-humor. Olivia is brilliant, but she is so deeply multi-faceted, too, excelling in so many areas — singing, theatre, academics, leadership, athletics — thus setting her apart entirely from all but a few students who have come through Hill in my time.”

Click here to read more about Olivia Zitkus from The Hill School.

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