OBU Presents Scholarship to National Spelling Bee Runner-Up

June 21, 2017

In recognition of his first runner-up placement in the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee, Oklahoma Baptist University presented a scholarship to Rohan Rajeev of Edmond, Oklahoma. The presentation took place Tuesday, June 20.

OBU’s scholarship, presented to Rajeev by Dr. Stan Norman, OBU provost and executive vice president for campus life, is worth a total $48,000, or $12,000 per year for four years. As national runner-up in the Bee, Rajeev received $30,000 from Scripps.

Rajeev is a 14-year-old incoming freshman at Oklahoma Christian School and has been spelling competitively since the age of 8. Inspired by his older sister’s disability, Rajeev determinedly fights through the challenges he encounters in life, and applied this work ethic to his spelling. He also credits his Christian faith as a constant source of comfort in the pressures of the competition, finding peace in prayer.

Norman was pleased to present the OBU scholarship to Rohan in recognition of his amazing accomplishment.

“We at Oklahoma Baptist University are grateful for Rohan and his commitment to academic excellence, a value we both share,” he said. “Rohan’s diligence and hard work paid off in a tremendous performance in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Through his determination and focus, he achieved something remarkable and the university wants to recognize that. We also know that Rohan’s faith led him to strive to achieve his highest potential and to use the gifts that God has given him. We are excited to see what the Lord has planned for Rohan and the many exciting opportunities that await him. We hope this scholarship truly blesses him and his family, and we hope to see him as a student on Bison Hill in the future.”

His father, Rajeev Muralidharan, is proud of his son and blessed by the receipt of his OBU scholarship.

“This is truly a great honor and blessing and puts us at ease about the financial burden of a college education,” he said. “Rohan also considers this a tremendous blessing. He knows that the Lord is opening doors for him by His Grace. This also will encourage him to work harder, as he is seeing the fruits of the same.”

Rohan’s summer is filled with exciting opportunities. He is spending three days a week shadowing a neurologist, Dr. Amber Stucco at Integris Baptist hospital. He received an invitation to compete in NASCC (North American Spelling Champion Challenge), in UCLA, Los Angeles in mid-July. He will also be competing in the National finals of the North South Foundation (NSF) Spelling Bee, at the University of Houston, in the month of August. He also plans to attend workshops and a week-long camp at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics in the month of July.

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation's largest and longest-running educational program. The competition began Tuesday, May 30, with 291 spellers who advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee after beating the odds to reach this level. They are among the top 0.000026 percent of more than 11 million students who participated in spelling bees held in classrooms, schools and locally sponsored events around the country.