Brandeis welcomes class of 2026 Stroum Family Waltham Scholars to campus

Stroum Scholarship Recipients pose with President Ron LiebowitzPhoto/Mike Lovett

Stroum Scholarship recipients joined Brandeis President Ron Liebowitz and Jessica Liebowitz for a celebratory breakfast on campus.

Brandeis University and the City of Waltham honored the newest Stroum Family Waltham Scholarship recipients at a ceremony and breakfast on May 2.

The scholarship – which provides full tuition to Brandeis for four years – is awarded annually to outstanding Waltham High School seniors. This year’s recipients are Gabriella Vukomanovic, Helen Jermyn, Getzel Franqui Nadal and Stephanie Zepeda Recinos.

The ceremony also honored the recipients from the last two years, Lulu Ohm '25, William Drosos '25, Mica Duce '25, Noelia Vega '24, Justin Loc '24, Gustavo "Minerva" Machado '24 and Ryan Power '24.

President Ron Liebowitz formally welcomed the Stroum Scholars and praised their dedication to volunteerism, passions inside and out of the classroom, and kindness for others. He shared remarks from their community peers.

Gabriella Vukomanovic’s school counselor described her as, “someone who will put in one hundred percent effort, no matter how difficult a task and someone who will certainly represent you in the best light possible.”

Helen Jermyn’s teacher said she “is a leader on the soccer team at the school, and she clearly sets goals for herself, inside and outside of the classroom, and works hard to accomplish them. Once she sets her mind to an aspiration or project, she strives to achieve at the highest level.”

Getzel Franqui Nadal’s teacher shared, “Getzel is an outstanding young man.  He is well spoken, friendly, and has a nice sense of humor. Whether in the classroom or in the corridors of Waltham High School, Getzel exhibits a positive, enthusiastic attitude and a desire to do his best.”

Reflecting on Stephanie Zepeda Recinos’s dedication to her passions, her teacher wrote, “I could recommend Stephanie solely on the quality of her academic work, but her best characteristics, the ones that best qualify her for a place in your academic community,are those of kindness, cooperation, and friendship. Through the uncertainty and anxiety of last year, one that was conducted remotely until the last quarter of the academic year, Stephanie was inspiringly supportive of her friends, classmates, and teachers.”

Ashley Kamal posed with the mayor of Waltham and president Liebowitz
Photo/Mike Lovett

Ashley Kamal '22 posed with president Ronald Liebowitz and mayor Jeanette McCarthy

Ashley Kamal ’22, a Stroum scholar double majoring in mathematics and music, shared her appreciation for the scholarship and words of encouragement with the future Class of 2026. “I had no idea of the impact being a Brandeis student would have on my life,” said Kamal. 

After graduation, Kamal plans to join MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory program as an assistant engineer. After considering numerous careers after graduation, she came to the realization that she can change her mind over time.

“As a Brandeis student, the world is your oyster,” she said “With this scholarship there are infinite paths before you.” 

The scholarship is named for Samuel N. Stroum, a Waltham High School graduate, businessman and philanthropist. He created the scholarship with his wife, Althea, to provide tuition for the top Waltham High School seniors who are accepted to Brandeis. It has funded the education of more than 100 scholars since it was established in 1996.

The mayor of Waltham, Jeanette McCarthy, shared her confidence in this year’s recipients and encouraged them to pursue their futures at Brandeis and beyond with courage. 

“Never forget that your Brandeis degree will open doors for you.”

Categories: General, Student Life

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