Matthew Gillett Named 2021-22 Sommerville Scholar

By Alyssa Wilson ~ Assistant Editor

2021-22 Sommerville Scholar Matthew Gillett ’22 (second from left) is pictured with Sommerville finalists (left to right) Rebecca Parks ’22, Rachel Garnett ’22, and
Niraly Patel ’22. Not pictured, Mallory Yowell ’22. Photo retrieved from on Nov. 2 2021.

Every year a prestigious award, the Sommerville Scholar Award, is given to one senior who has exemplified the University of Lynchburg’s ideals in their four years at the University, chosen by a committee of faculty members: Jeanne Booth, Lindsay Pieper, Christine Terry, and Paul McClure.

This award’s namesake is named after Richard Clark Sommerville who was a professor of a variety of different disciplines at the university for 20 years. 

This year, the committee received 37 applications and narrowed it down to five finalists: Rachel Garnett, Matthew Gillett, Niraly Patel, Rebecca Parks, and Mallory Yowell. 

This year’s award was presented to Matthew Gillett on Friday, Oct. 29, at the Daura Art Gallery on the University’s campus. 

Gillett said, “Personally, this scholarship means a lot to me because it really shows the embodiment of a liberal arts education. That’s why I came to Lynchburg, that’s part of the reason I love this institution so much. We get that not only in the classroom but all over campus.” 

Provost Allison Jablonski presented the award to Gillett, saying, “In his letter of application to the Sommerville committee, Matthew exposited on two unwavering ideals that have, in his words, loomed large over his time here at the University of Lynchburg; faith and reason. Drawing a direct line between Snidow Chapel and Hopwood Hall has been one of great importance for Matthew who said that this connection has inspired many of his decisions, including his decision to come to the University of Lynchburg.” 

Gillett is extremely involved in the campus community as a political science major, history minor, Student Government Association President among many of his other credentials here at the University all while maintaining a 3.95 GPA throughout his college career. 

Gillett said, “I’m really honored to be the recipient of the award this year. It is an incredibly prestigious award. I have looked up to the people that have won this award every year that I have been here. I want to congratulate the other finalists. All of them are incredible Hornets who bring great things to our institution and are excellent scholars in their own right.” 

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