UMBC boasts three prestigious Gates Cambridge scholars
Two graduating seniors at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are headed to England's University of Cambridge for an all-expenses-paid graduate degree courtesy of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, college officials announced.
Simon Gray of South Africa, UMBC's 2008 valedictorian, will pursue a master's degree in chemical engineering, and physics major Phillip Graff (left) of New Jersey will study astrophysics at Cambridge.
A third UMBC graduate, Ian Ralby, who won the selectived Gates Cambridge scholarship last year, received the award again this year, so that he can follow up a master's degree with a doctorate, college officials said.
Established in 2000 with a $210 million donation by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Cambridge scholarship is similar to the Rhodes Scholarship, which offers American students graduate opportunites at Oxford University.
About 100 students from around the world receive the award every year. This year, 45 U.S. citizens students were awarded scholarships. Among the American recipients this year were two others with Maryland connections: William Eucker of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Silver Spring's Jessica Shang, an engineering major at Harvard University.