CADET SPOTLIGHT: BC Valedictorian Guy William Shearouse earns full ride to Georgia Tech as Stamps President’s Scholar

By Noell Barnidge
Benedictine Military School Valedictorian Guy William Shearouse, the son of Eric (BC Class of 1992) and Heather Shearouse, will attend the Georgia Institute of Technology on a full ride to study electrical engineering as a Stamps President’s Scholar. It’s the top undergraduate scholarship offered at Georgia Tech and covers the entire cost of attendance including tuition and fees, housing and meal plan, books, personal expenses, and supplies for four years, plus a laptop computer. It also includes enrichment funds that scholars can use for academic and professional development, such as study abroad, internships, and independent research.

Shearouse never imagined he would be in this position when he attended Savannah Arts Academy for one semester during his freshman year.

“In 2020, with COVID, that was my freshman year,” he said. “We were (attending classes) online and I was seeing all of my friends at BC starting to go back to school, and that face-to-face connection is unbeatable. There’s nothing that can replace it, really, compared to looking through a computer screen (from home).

“On top of that, even when they started sending kids back to school at Savannah Arts, they were sending back people with low grades, inspiring them to get better,” he continued. “I was still doing my work and getting my grades up, doing my homework, so I was like last in line to go back to school (in person). It’s actually a funny story. I called one of my friends after BC had ended school that day and they were in the classroom with Br. Matthew (Hershey, O.S.B.). It was Sam Robin and James Dyches. They put me on the phone with him and Br. Matthew was like, ‘Hey, come to BC!’ And I’m not even kidding, I had already been kind of wanting to and that sealed the deal. I went and talked to my parents, and I was like, ‘I’ve got to move to BC. I can’t do this online school.’ It wasn’t for me. And BC has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel like I’ve made a difference on my peers and my peers have made a difference on me. I feel like it’s a win-win that I ended up here.”

At Savannah Arts Academy, Shearouse entered the building three times.

“When I toured in eighth grade, when I picked up my books at the beginning of ninth grade, and when I returned them after the first semester,” he said. “I was never in a classroom. Never once. It’s unfortunate because I played piano for about 11 years now, and I really enjoy it, and I’m still playing even though I left an arts school. I was looking forward to developing myself as a musician, and Savannah Arts Academy is a very academically rigorous school, but like I said, the opportunities here at BC are unique and unbeatable. For me at least. It might not be the fit for everybody, but for me it was one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Approximately 30,000 high school seniors apply for admission to Georgia Tech by the Early Action deadline each year, and approximately 325 of those admitted are selected as semifinalists for the Stamps President’s and Gold Scholarships. The semifinalist pool participates in a virtual, asynchronous interview.

In February, 110 finalists, including Shearouse, were named and invited to participate in Stamps Scholars Weekend in March for additional activities and interviews. Those finalists who chose to attend Georgia Tech in the fall joined the Office of Special Scholarships community as either a Stamps President’s Scholar or a Gold Scholar.

Less than 5 percent of first-year applicants are named as semifinalists for the program.

“I applied early action for Georgia Tech, and I didn’t know the scholarship existed, to be honest,” Shearouse said. “I didn’t have to apply separately for it. When I was told that I was admitted into the school, they sent me an email about a week later that said, ‘We’ve selected you to be a semifinalist for this scholarship.’ I was excited. I didn’t know what it was, so I did some research, talked to some people, and figured out what it was. And then there was a really weird interview. It was online. It wasn’t with a person. It was with a recording, asking me questions. I felt good about the interview, but I didn’t expect to go to the next level. Once I got to the next level, there were 110 people who made it to the finalist stage. We spent a weekend up at Georgia Tech touring, learning about the school. I really felt like they wanted us to go to the school, so that was a good feeling.”

Shearouse was among 50 students chosen for the scholarship. “They had about 60,000 applicants this year for the whole school, so I was pretty proud of myself,” he said.

Shearouse was accepted to both Duke University and Georgetown University (both Early Action, with “a good bit” of merit and financial aid money), Virginia Tech (Early Action), and Georgia (Early Action, with Charter Scholarship).

“I got wait-listed at Yale,” he said. “Wait-listed at North Carolina. Harvard deferred me (restrictive early action) and then denied me.” And Cornell denied him (regular decision).

“That narrowed the choices down immediately,” Shearouse said. “Not that money is the biggest issue, but the fact that (Georgia Tech) was willing to help me out showed me that they wanted me. And I want to be somewhere where I’m appreciated. I did not expect to get into these schools. I almost didn’t even apply to Duke, let alone expect to get in. Georgetown had a cool engineering opportunity with Columbia that I was interested in. When I got in there, that was a big consideration. Originally, I was deciding between Georgetown, Georgia Tech, and Harvard. I didn’t get into Harvard. I got into Duke instead. And then Duke, Georgetown, and Georgia Tech became my top three choices. All three were great options for me, but for electrical engineering, and with the Stamps Scholarship, it was just impossible to pass on Georgia Tech, at least for me. And I liked the campus a lot when I visited. I could see myself there.”

Shearouse said he would like to return to Savannah after college.

“Assuming my major doesn’t change in college, and a lot of people say theirs does, I plan on doing electrical engineering,” he said. “I definitely plan on coming back to Savannah at some point. I’m kind of interested in working at Gulfstream. I’m not opposed to starting a business myself. I’ve always been interested in owning a business. I don’t know what that would look like, but I definitely want to do electrical engineering and come back to Savannah to settle down.”

At BC, Shearouse maximized the numerous opportunities that are available to Cadets.

“I’ve done a lot of JROTC stuff,” he said. “I found that it helped develop me as a person, as a leader, and I enjoyed it. I did Raider team, Drill team, JLAB (Junior Leadership Academic Bowl), National Honor Society (President), Student Council, robotics (team co-captain) – we had a very successful season this year. Something I’ve noticed every year at BC is the seniors leave it better for the rising seniors, and I think the school just gets better with age like fine wine. That’s important to me, leaving BC better than I found it. I’ve, hopefully, inspired people under me to do the same thing. My dad went here. He loved the school, but he said looking at it now, there are so many opportunities that weren’t here when he was here. The school is getting better. And the environment is competitive, but everybody presses everybody to be better and that’s the reason for that.

“I was definitely pushed academically at BC,” Shearouse continued. “This is something I’ve always heard said about BC, and I couldn’t agree more now, looking back, ‘It’s a school where there are opportunities for everybody.’ And with it being a private school, sometimes private schools struggle to provide opportunities for everybody, but BC really offers everything for everybody. Whatever you decide, what track to take, what you’re going to put all of your efforts towards, there are going to be people there helping you along the way. And if you honestly give it your best effort, I really think BC prepares you for the world, whether it be through JRTOC, through sports, through academics. There are the right people here for you.”