Local student honored as top graduate

SAN MARCOS — Just five years ago, Whitney Leigh Donaldson was a National Merit scholar graduating with the Class of 2004 at San Marcos High School. Next week, she will be recognized as one of just nine “Outstanding Graduates” at Cal State Long Beach and be conferred not one, but two bachelor’s degrees.
Donaldson, the daughter of William and Sue Adams Donaldson of San Marcos, has been selected the 2009 Outstanding Graduate for the College of Liberal Arts at Cal State Long Beach. She was honored during the college’s commencement ceremony May 28, where she was conferred a bachelor’s of arts degree in comparative world literature and a bachelor’s of arts degree in Spanish literature and culture.
“Whitney stands out as one of the best students that we have had in our department in the past decade, and she is well-regarded by the entire faculty,” said Carl Fisher, chair of the Comparative World Literature and Classics Department. “Throughout her undergraduate career, she has worked hard and is extremely motivated, (and) her professional path suggests that her future endeavors will reflect well on her CSULB education.”
Still, her educational journey isn’t finished just yet. In the fall, Donaldson will attend San Diego State, working to complete a master’s of arts degree in English with an emphasis in comparative literature. After her M.A., she plans to continue on to a doctoral program to earn her Ph.D. in literature.
“My Cal State Long Beach experience has solidified my desire to be a life-long scholar,” Donaldson said. “I hope to work as a university professor and instill in others the passion for literature that has long been my educational focus.”
With her National Merit scholar status, Donaldson received a full, four-year scholarship to Cal State Long Beach through its President’s Scholars Program, recognized as the premier program of its kind in the state and created to bring valedictorians and National Merit scholars from California high schools to the college.


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