Senior Michael Hostutler II has earned the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, a highly-competitive award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that has produced leaders in medicine, business, government, and beyond.
Morehead-Cain is the first merit scholarship program established in the United States. Created in 1945, it is inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. It fully funds four years at UNC Chapel Hill, the state's flagship public university, plus an extensive summer enrichment program that offers the opportunity for internships and study abroad.
Students apply annually from around the world. Scholars have proven that they thrive academically, in leadership, character, and physical fitness.
Hostutler is a Global Affairs Fellow in Norfolk Academy's Batten Leadership Program. He's one of the student leaders for a new partnership with Hampton Roads Refugee Relief (HR3), and he is involved with the Fellows' survey project in Peru involving the development of the Chinchero International Airport.
Participation in the Fellows helped Hostutler grow, he said. He has tutored on weekends and traveled to Peru twice with his peers, studying how globalization affects indigenous people. About a month ago, he was part of a group that presented a report on the potential economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He's also involved in a wealth of extracurricular activities. He's a five-year member of the Varsity Sailing team (serving as captain for two years and earning team MVP). His other activities include: Varsity Lacrosse; Varsity Indoor Track; Co-President of the Girl Up Club; NA's Student Ambassadors, for which he's a student head; and co-editor of student newspaper The Belfry.
The selection process for the Morehead-Cain is rigorous, including a lengthy initial application, followed by a video interview. Lastly, about 140 students come to campus for in-person screening that involves more interviews conducted over a four-day weekend. Only about half those students earn the scholarship.
Hostutler expressed appreciation for Headmaster Dennis Manning, who wrote a letter of recommendation. He also credited his teachers and coaches for their support and guidance.
He also thanked the Class of 2020 for welcoming him into the NA community when he arrived in seventh grade.
“I love my fellow classmates," he said.
His recognition comes at the same time as news that two other Norfolk Academy seniors, William Smythe and Sean Miller, have been selected as Jefferson Scholars, the premier scholarship at University of Virginia.
Hostutler said he had long been eager to attend UNC, because his father, 1988 NA graduate Michael Hostutler, attended the university and loved it. Earning the Morehead-Cain, as his father did, only added to his excitement.
Hostutler learned the good news over spring break. He happened to be in North Carolina, competing with the lacrosse team. His jaw dropped when he read the email, and friends quickly mobbed him. The celebration continued that night at dinner, with Head Coach Ryan Tucker recognizing his accomplishment.
North Carolina offers club sailing, which Hostutler hopes to join. He's considering focusing his studies on public policy or political science, perhaps for a career in law.
For now, he's simply humbled to earn the scholarship, and excited about the potential the future holds.
“A gift and an opportunity," Hostutler said. “I want to make the most of my time there."