ACU Signs 3 National Merit Finalists from Abilene

Unique ceremony emphasizes importance of academic achievement

for immediate release March 6, 1998

WHO/WHAT: Three Abilene seniors who are National Merit Finalists will sign contracts accepting full-tuition scholarships to Abilene Christian University during signing ceremonies.

* Jebidiah "Jeb" Qualls, son of Phil and Micki Qualls (ACHS)
* Benjamin "Ben" Blake, son of Art and Susan Green (AHS)
* James Vincent "Vince" Barnett, son of Rinn and Janey Barnett (AHS)

WHEN/WHERE: Wednesday, March 11

9:30 a.m. - Abilene Christian High School (Board Room in the central building; go in front door and ask secretary to direct you)

10:45 a.m. - Abilene High School (Principal Royce Curtis' office)

WHY: To emphasize the importance of academic achievement.

HOW: The students will sign their contracts accepting the full-tuition scholarships ACU offers to National Merit Finalists and will be presented certificates by ACU admissions counselors James Townsend (ACHS) and Aaron Ashford (AHS).

STATS: Last fall, ACU enrolled 12 new National Merit Finalists. Of the 2,244 four-year institutions in the United States, ACU ranked in the top 10 percent (142nd) for the number of Finalists enrolled. [Sources: The Chronicle of Higher Education and the National Merit Scholarship Corp.]

DETAILS: The idea for the ceremony originated with the Abilene Christian High School administration, and ACU admissions personnel eagerly adopted it. ACU will sign another National Merit Finalist in Houston later this month. ACU officials are not aware of any other schools who sign academic scholarship recipients during official ceremonies such as these, but they cannot say for certain whether ACU is the first.

If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Malissa Endsley, director of media relations, at or call 915-674-2692.

This page is maintained by Malissa Endsley,
Last update: March 6, 1998