Scott Studenmund, from the Clairbourn Class of 2004, was a just a little boy when I first met him. In many ways, it's how I will always remember him.
His curly hair and broad smile were on full-display whenever he bounded down the main walkway—whether to Chapel, P.E., or any downstream destination. Before long, I learned that he was an outstanding achiever in the field of academics. His outstanding scholastic record is rarely equaled and never exceeded. He was always ready for classwork and participated eagerly in discussions and projects. No one could have asked for more in the field of academics.
In the field of social relationships, Scott demonstrated an easy, natural interest in others. At a time when most experts feel that young people are most egocentric, Scott showed an empathy and compassion for those whose lives were less happy. He was always a friend to the new student, always a confidant of those needing support and understanding, and a team-builder for the whole group. The little boy was maturing. No one could have asked for more in the field of getting-along.
In the field of interscholastic sports, Scott was a consummate competitor, and he continued to develop his physical stamina in addition to his mental toughness. He had the drive to always improve. He never worried about the size or ability of his opponents. He only focused on what he could bring to the team, and that focus came with a 100% effort. The teenage Scott Studenmund gave all he had— all the time. As Clairbourn's recipient of the Nijjar Sportsmanship Scholarship in 2001, no one could have asked for more in the field of athletics.
In the field of citizenship, Scott took to heart the moral, spiritual, and ethical values we, as Americans, hold most dear. He loved his country, and it was clear even as a student, that the Pledge of Allegiance to him was no idle set of words. He understood that he was the recipient of privileges that were won by generations before him and that he must stand ready to pass that legacy forward to generations to come — even if that meant personal sacrifice. As a young man, he was never above reciting the Pledge or singing a hymn. He was never above bowing his head in prayer. No one could have asked for more in the field of patriotism.
In the field of national service, Scott demonstrated a unique combination of intellect, honor, and skill. As a grown man, Scott left a certain promising and lucrative career as an engineer to serve his country — a calling he heard and responded to without hesitation. As a soldier in the United States Army, Scott distinguished himself so completely that he was admitted into the most elite combat corps the Army has — the Green Berets. While many of the details of his service could only be known by a few, it is clear from the record that Scott was a dedicated soldier and an outstanding leader. He was decorated and promoted as the best of the best. No one could have asked for more in the field of national service.
On the field of battle, Scott gave his all so that others might have a chance at freedom — the freedom he so dearly loved. What an unselfish act of kindness! While in Afghanistan, Scott was leading a patrol of Green Berets to clear out villages of Taliban rebels who were intimidating the local citizens so they wouldn't vote in their free election. During this mission, Scott showed himself as a fierce defender of freedom, skillfully and successfully removing the rebels from villages. While returning from this mission, in June of 2014, his patrol was ambushed by the Taliban. During the engagement that followed, Scott lost his life. He is a true American hero. No one could have asked for more on the field of battle.
On November 21st, we will gather at Clairbourn to remember the many contributions Scott made, and to honor the life he gave. In doing so, we have chosen to re-dedicate Clairbourn's athletic field, the field the "little boy" loved, hereafter to be known as Scott Studenmund Field.
Robert W. Nafie, Ph. D.
Head of School
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