Duke University | Baldwin Scholars Program

Elizabeth Schaack


Elizabeth Schaack

I can already say that I am an extremely proud member of the Baldwin Class of 2015. Despite being wide-eyed as both a Duke student and a Baldwin, the warm welcome I received in the past few months from Duke students, and particularly Baldwins past and present, has made me feel extremely lucky. I cannot wait to spend the next four years as a Baldwin and a Blue Devil.

I come to the program and the university as a graduate of Fountain Valley School, a boarding school in Eastern Colorado. The school boasted three incredible attributes: it offered a fantastic education; it went to great lengths to encourage a global instead of regionalized worldview (I traveled to fourteen countries over the course of my high school career); and it was populated by a wonderful community of faculty and students. The excellent education I received there has allowed me to be where I am today academically. The global curriculum - perhaps ironically - narrowed my interests: I plan to pursue International Relations in some capacity (though it will likely be coupled with an English major, as I consider reading and writing old friends from whom I could never bear to part). For me, however, the school's most enduring legacy is undoubtedly its people. I made so many wonderful friends there, among both the faculty and the students, who have all played a large role in shaping the person I am today.

The price I paid for such an incredible high school experience was parting from my family four years prematurely. This was difficult for all of us. I remember griping to my mother that I could never truly be satisfied: when I was at home, I desperately missed school, and when I was at school, I desperately missed home. College has compounded this issue, and now I find myself inevitably missing two of my homes no matter where I am. This problem, however, is one that I think we should all have in our lives: too many people and things we love in too many places. To my young, idealist's eyes, the world is so full of people to meet and understand and maybe come to love; the world is so full of things to do and explore and maybe come to improve. The ache to experience it all is a feeling that in some ways defines me, and it is one that I hope never to lose.