Two Incoming Freshmen Chosen to Receive WJU’s Prestigious Laut Honors Scholarship

  WJU Communications
  Friday, March 9, 2018 9:17 AM
  WJU News, Academics

Wheeling, WV


Wheeling Jesuit University has awarded its prestigious Laut Honors Scholarship, a four-year, full-tuition scholarship, to a pair of incoming freshman students from Ohio.

This year's recipients are Audrey Brahler of St. Clairsville, Ohio and Andrew Berger of Pataskala, Ohio. The two students contended in a rigorous, multi-stage, on-site competition.

More than 160 students applied for the Laut competition and 20 were chosen to compete. The competition is designed to test the students' abilities, both inside and outside the classroom. Each student had to write two essays and be interviewed by faculty, current Laut Honors students and alumni of the program. 

brahler-web.jpgBrahler will graduate this spring from St. Clairsville High School and plans to study English and Psychology when she enters Wheeling Jesuit next fall. She is the second member of her family to attend WJU. Her sister Alexis is a member of the 2016 graduating class and is currently enrolled in the university’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program.

“Receiving the Laut Scholarship is proof of the hard work that I have put into being the best person I can be and that I am on a successful path in life,” she explained.

Brahler said Wheeling Jesuit’s quality education “that will prepare me for life after college” and its location close to her home where what attracted her to WJU. She plans to either teach at the college level or become a counselor or therapist following graduation.

In addition, Brahler is an instructor at Olympic Tae Kwon Do Academy and she enjoys writing and photography.

berger-web.jpgBerger is a senior at Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, Ohio and plans to study Chemistry and Theology at Wheeling Jesuit. He would like to attend pharmacy school after he graduates from WJU, with hopes of working in emergency medicine as a pharmacist.

“Wheeling Jesuit stood out to me because of the integration of the Catholic faith into education at a small school, in a great city, that was not too far from home. I knew that I would have the opportunity to play sports and meet many people that share similar values at WJU. Also, the people at Wheeling Jesuit treated me like family from day one,” Berger said.

Berger said receiving the Laut Scholarship is an incredible honor. I am so thankful to God and all those who have helped me become the man I am today. Being awarded the Laut Scholarship further opens my eyes to all that God has blessed me with. I am even more grateful for the people I have surrounded myself with -- especially my parents, teachers, and coaches -- who have really supported and motivated me to live up to all of my potential.”

“We are always confident about the students our committee chooses to be our annual Laut Scholarship Award recipients, because the process is so rigorous. The students write two very different kinds of essays, are interviewed by a half dozen honors faculty and students, and have to demonstrate exceptional performance in high school and on standardized tests like the ACT or SAT,” said John Whitehead, associate professor of Fine Arts and Director of the Laut Honors Program.

“This year, despite wonderfully tough competition, Audrey Brahler and Andrew Berger emerged as clear choices for the two full-tuition scholarships because of their consistently excellent work. What reinforces our selections is how they have distinguished themselves beyond our traditional criteria. Audrey has already published two children's books, and Andrew is a championship-level golfer. They are exactly the sort of well-rounded people the honors program exists to nourish with additional opportunities to explore and learn,” Whitehead added.

Named after the Rev. Stephen Laut, S.J., this program honors a Jesuit who began his career at WJU as an English professor. In 1968, he became chair of the English department and in 1979 was the recipient of the prestigious WJU Lewis Award. A strong believer in promoting academic excellence achieved through a rigorous Jesuit education, Laut fostered intellectual growth by challenging his students to excel in the classroom and in the real world.

For complete information on Wheeling Jesuit scholarship programs or admissions events, please contact the admissions office at 1-800-624-6992, or explore Wheeling Jesuit online at


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