Kaylee Tornay signs with Oregon as a 2013 Stamps Scholar

A high school student from Central Oregon who is already editing her first novel has been selected as one of the first five recipients of the University of Oregon’s most generous and prestigious undergraduate scholarships for incoming students.

Kaylee Tornay was celebrated Monday at a “Signing Day” event at Bend Senior High School for her selection as a UO Stamps Scholar. In front of a crowd that included school and university officials, classmates, her parents and The Duck, Tornay signed enrollment documents to commit to the university in a process typically associated with student-athletes.

The Stamps Scholarship provides tuition, room and board, and access to an enrichment fund that will help students pursue study abroad, internships or other experiences. A total of 20 students—five per year for four years—will be awarded this merit-based scholarship by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation in partnership with the University of Oregon.

In addition to financial support, students who receive Stamps Scholarships are automatically granted admission to the University of Oregon's Robert D. Clark Honors College.

“Kaylee competed amongst the state’s top students to win the Stamps Scholarship,” said Roger Thompson, UO vice president for Enrollment Management. “She was articulate, passionate about serving her community, and demonstrated the combination of character and commitment to excellence sought by both the University of Oregon and the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation.”

Tornay serves as the National Honor Society Secretary and founder of the International Baccalaureate Food Club. In addition to playing the saxophone in the all-state pep band and serving as a veteran member of Bend Senior High School’s mock trial team, she volunteers at the Humane Society of Central Oregon and with Project Connect Homeless Outreach.

"Kaylee is an exceptional student who is highly engaged in academics and activities at Bend Senior High," said Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Ron Wilkinson. "I have no doubt that she will continue to excel in all that she does after graduation and throughout her academic career at the University of Oregon."

At Monday's event, Tornay thanked teachers and classmates at Bend Senior High School, her family and friends.  She also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to continue her education.

“The University of Oregon and Stamps Foundation have given me the biggest gift I could have imagined,” she said.

When she begins at UO in Fall 2013, she plans to study journalism.

To encourage all incoming freshmen who have received the UO’s Presidential Scholarship, Diversity Excellence Scholarship and the Stamps Scholarship, Twitter hashtag #uosigningday2013 was created and students have been invited to share videos about being a UO Duck. The videos and testimonials are featured on the UO Admissions website at http://admissions.uoregon.edu/signing-day.

Julie Brown