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Phi Beta Kappa: Meghna Nandi

By Leigh Alon
Published: June 2010

The Phi Beta Kappa Society, founded at The College of William & Mary on December 5, 1776, claims that its mission is to “celebrate and advocate excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.

The Phi Beta Kappa award is given annually to one member of every graduating class for excellence in academics.

Each year’s recipient of the award has the highest grade point average in his or her class. This year, senior Meghna Nandi has been granted this prestigious title.

Nandi’s dedication to her schoolwork is apparent through her extremely rigorous course load.

Her core classes include AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP Journalism, AP Physics, and AP Psychology.

In addition to the Phi Beta Kappa award, Nandi has been honored with the Superintendent’s Excellence Award and is also a Goldrick Marshall.

Nandi is known by her teachers and peers for her unique combination of serious study habits and a wonderful sense of humor.

Physics teacher Hema Roychowdhury has both praised Nandi’s study habits and recommended that she consider a future career as a stand-up comedian.

“She’s not satisfied until she gets it, and when she does you can read it on her face, Roychowdhury said.

Roychowdhury went on to describe Nandi as both funny and very honest.

“Honesty: she’s incapable of anything else, Roychowdhury said.

Nandi’s peers view her in very much the same light. “She dedicates a lot of her time [to studying] and she’s willing to spend a lot of time to get something done, senior Allen Li said.

However, in Li’s mind, her extreme diligence is what makes Nandi stand out the most.

“One of her best qualities would just [be] her ability to make someone laugh. She’s open, and she’ll say what’s on her mind, definitely, he said.

Senior Silong Yang appreciates Nandi’s dedication and excellent work ethic, as well as her overall attitude towards her academic achievement.

“She really wants to learn the material for her own, not just for a grade, he said. Nandi aims to be intelligent for her own sake, and has never believed in structuring her life around a college resume.

He added that Nandi has always been very humble about her schoolwork.

This fall Nandi plans on attending Washington University in St. Louis.

It is this unique combination of both talent and perseverance, as well as her humor and humility, that make Nandi an exceptional student and human being.

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