Grace Bruck is one of four Oakland University Honors College students to receive the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship.

Grace Bruck is one of four Oakland University Honors College students to receive the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship.

Photo provided by Oakland University

Macomb Township resident gets full-ride scholarship

By: Dean Vaglia | Macomb Chronicle | Published August 25, 2022


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The college experience asks a lot of students. Long hours of lecture and study, a great willingness to try new things and, ever increasingly, the requirement to part ways with pallet-loads of money.

But for Grace Bruck, a high-achieving student from Macomb Township, the next four years at Oakland University are going to be tuition-free. Bruck is one of four incoming students to receive the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship for Honors College students coming directly from the pockets of OU President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz.

“It’s still a shock to me,” Bruck said. “I was not expecting to receive it. I didn’t really do my research ironically before I applied to it. Now that I know how few people got it, I am still in shock.”

Chosen among a small pool of OU’s 20 or so highest-achieving incoming students, Bruck was awarded the scholarship due to her academic achievements, leadership ability and community service.

Bruck’s 11th grade year was a highlight of leadership and academic ability. Switching from Eisenhower High School to the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) the year before, she ran for and won the student council presidency and led a research project on soil pollution and its effects on worms. 

“We were testing the effects of different pollutants of the soil on the mortality of earthworms,” Bruck said. “We took worms and put them in their own separate dishes with dirt, and then we put weed killer, (road) salt, Miracle-Gro (and compost). … We just saw how those different climates affected how they lived.”

While Bruck’s experiment was science-heavy and she is majoring in biology (with plans to minor in Italian), Bruck was initially more interested in mathematics.

“I did not like science; I just wanted to be challenged in math,” Bruck said about her time at MST. “But they focused so deeply on science that I ended up falling in love with science.”

On the community service front, Bruck works with her mother supporting Abigayle Ministries. A Christian nonprofit based out of Sterling Heights, the organization aims to help homeless pregnant women through its residency program.

Bruck’s community service and leadership skills line up with the goal of the scholarship, which focuses on awarding academically skilled students who work to better the world as a whole. 

“Some of the folks that excel in their own fields and their own interests are probably talented people, in terms of their own careers,” Graeme Harper, dean of the Honors College, said. “But they’re probably also thinking beyond themselves about other people. … It’s really, really nice to see that when you get these applications and you realize that these people didn’t just start doing this stuff in order to get a scholarship. They were already doing it.”

Eligibility for the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship requires students to have a Platinum Presidential Scholar Award, which is limited to students with a minimum 3.8 GPA and SAT and ACT scores of 1450 and 33, respectively. The platinum scholarship offers $48,000 over four years.

“They are already folks that have excelled, but the key with (the presidential scholarship) is the commitment to other people,” Harper said. “That’s the bit that makes the difference.”

While the scholarship only covers tuition — Bruck is still on the hook for books and other expenses — the savings provided by the scholarship are nothing to sneeze at. According to OU’s tuition calculator, an incoming freshman is expected to pay for nearly $14,500 in tuition for the first year alone. While myriad scholarships are available to reduce this cost and student loans can be secured with ease, the Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship saves its recipients at least $58,000 throughout their undergraduate career.

The Pescovitz Presidential Scholarship is a new scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year.