Incoming freshman chooses UA over Ivy League

Incoming freshman chooses UA over Ivy League

Ronald Nelson turned down eight Ivy League Institutions for the University of Alabama.  Photo courtesy of Ronald Nelson

Christian Elliott

The upcoming collegian from Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee, was accepted by eight Ivy League institutions – Harvard, Dartmouth, Brown, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Princeton and Yale – as well as New York University, Stanford and Johns Hopkins. However, Nelson is choosing to attend The University of Alabama this fall.

“One of the top reasons [ I chose The University of Alabama] is definitely what I am going to be able to do within the [University] Fellows Experience,”
Nelson said.

The University Fellows Experience is a program within the Honors College in which students must score at least a 32 on their ACT and have a SAT score of 1400 (verbal and quantitive) in order to be admitted. Fellows have the opportunity to participate in research under the supervision of a 
faculty mentor.

“When I came down for the semi-finals weekend, it was amazing being on the beautiful campus,” Nelson said. “It was also amazing being around all those wonderful students and seeing what they wanted to and how it meshed with what I wanted to do. There were students who were a lot like me and there were students who were not like me when it came to my academic interests. Being around that wide variety of students really attracted me to The University of Alabama.”

Nelson said he is certain he wants to go on the pre-med track; however, he has yet to decide on a major.

Houston High School Principal Kyle Cherry said he was thrilled about Nelson’s decision to choose The University
of Alabama.

“The faculty and staff at Houston High School are very excited Ronald Nelson has decided to attend The University of Alabama,” Cherry said. “Ronald is an amazing young man with many talents and I’m sure he will take full advantage of the outstanding learning opportunities in The University of Alabama
Honors College.”

Cherry said Nelson isn’t the only top Houston High School graduate to choose the University.

“Of the top 5 percent of the 2015 graduates at Houston High School (21 students), eight will attend The University of Alabama,” Cherry said.

“I am extremely excited that Ron has made his decision to attend Alabama, because as a friend and classmate who has seen how hardworking and dedicated he has been to achieve all that he has already, I know that he will have the opportunity to accomplish even more through Alabama’s Honors and Fellows Programs,” said Jessie Lee, a good friend of Nelson’s.

When out of the classroom, Nelson said he enjoys music. During high school, he was the drum major for Houston High’s band, which consisted of 300 members. Nelson plays the 
saxophone and played first chair in the 2014 All-Tennessee Jazz Band and this year’s All-Tennessee Wind-Ensemble.

“I was All-State in two different categories of music in two different years, so music is definitely a huge thing in my life,” Nelson said.

Last summer, Nelson went to Governor School of the Arts in his home state of Tennessee, in which he was the only wind player chosen for the school’s notable annual honor recital. He said he hopes to eventually join the school’s notable Million Dollar Band as well as do concert work and play in one of the school’s 
many ensembles.

Regardless if it is in music, in the classroom or out of it, Nelson said he is hoping to make an impact at 
The University 
of Alabama.

“My ultimate goal is to of course to [do] incredibly well in academics and to eventually go on to do well in the field of medicine,” Nelson said. “I also want to meet positive people once arriving, make great connections with people and be a positive force 
on campus.”