Lawrenceville School Welcomes First Orion Military Scholars

Lawrenceville is pleased to welcome the first class of Orion Military Scholars to the School, Rachel Deoki ’25 and Ben McCormick ’24. Lawrenceville is among the founding partners of the Orion Military Scholarship Fund (OMSF), teaming with select boarding schools to provide merit-based scholarships to children of active-duty U.S. service members. Deoki and McCormick’s fathers serve in the Army and Navy, respectively. 

Lawrenceville’s Dean of Enrollment Management Greg Buckles has worked closely with OMSF, which he called “an incredible resource.… We’re leveraging their expertise to help us find outstanding students we know will be a good match for Lawrenceville,” he said.

One of the most common admission questions that Buckles hears is “What’s the one thing you are looking for in a prospective student?” Aside from quantifiable data like grades or test scores, he explained, “I always answer ‘self-awareness.’ Even in a 13- or 14- ear old, there are ways to look for that as well as the ability to take full advantage of the opportunities.  find that military kids often have a particular level of maturity and perspective through their exposure to multiple cultures and communities. Ben and Rachel will not only benefit from the School, but also contribute to it.”

The stability of a boarding school education appealed to Deoki, whose family has moved from New York, Connecticut, Colorado, Washington State, and now Kentucky, due to her father’s Army assignments.  “I might have been moved another two to three times throughout my high school career, and that’s not a very stable education, especially because of the varying teaching standards and [available] extracurriculars. Being in one place will make it easier for me to get into a good college and progress further in the future without being stunted,” she said.

McCormick’s family recently moved from Washington, D.C., to southeastern Virginia. “I’m very lucky as a military kid. I’ve been able to stay in the same general area for my whole life,” he said. McCormick has already attended boarding school, coming to Lawrenceville from the Cardigan Mountain School (Canaan, N.H.). Lawrenceville was on his radar when he learned of the Orion Military Scholarships. “Just look around. It’s Lawrenceville – the campus, the people, the academics, the athletics. There’s so much to do, and it’s just such an amazing place,” he said.

Learning around the Harkness table fits well with McCormick’s educational style. “I’ve always been somebody who was more about an open conversation and trying to contribute to everybody else in the discussion,” he said.

One of the biggest draws about Lawrenceville for Deoki was the School’s diverse community. “I wanted [to learn with] people [who come from different] backgrounds and Lawrenceville has that . . . racial, social, and economic diversity. I really wanted to connect with people from all walks of life,” she said.

Though it is still early in their matriculations at Lawrenceville, both students are eagerly diving in. McCormick already feels at home in Woodhull House. “Every day feels like a bonding exercise because you walk out in the hall and you’re talking to some of your best friends just steps away from your room,” he said. He’s a member of the “Mighty Wood” House football team, and is eager to compete for Big Red ice hockey in winter and baseball team in spring.

Deoki has suited for the girls’ junior varsity field hockey team this fall, and is likewise eager to try fencing in the winter. She is excited about becoming part of a Periwig Club production and possibly joining the Women in Leadership at Lawrenceville club. Her fellow Second Form girls in Perry Ross House have been “really caring…. If I need help with work, they’re always there to help me. If someone is having a problem, you can help them out, and they will do the same for you. It feels like you are always in a community.”

To learn more, visit www.lawrenceville.org or contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.