Beaufort Academy valedictorian headed to Vanderbilt


From staff reports

Emilie Claire Nason, the 2021 Valedictorian of Beaufort Academy’s 53rd graduating class, will attend Vanderbilt University this fall, one of the nation’s top ranked colleges and universities.

“This year’s admitted students were selected from an incredibly talented applicant pool, which will result in one of the strongest academic profiles ever,” quoted from Vanderbilt’s Admissions website. (admissions.vanderbilt.edu) “With a slim 6.7% acceptance rate, Vanderbilt’s admissions process is highly selective, focusing on the applicant’s academic achievement, extracurricular engagement, personal essays, rigor of coursework and letters of recommendation.”

Nason will join her fellow Commodores in Nashville to study sociology and public policy.

Beaufort Academy Head of School, Dan Durbin said, “Emily Claire’s hard work and commitment to academic excellence laid the foundation for her acceptance to Vanderbilt. That same drive will lead to even greater opportunities through college and beyond.”

In her four years at Beaufort Academy, Nason availed herself of the most rigorous classes available as her transcript and resume demonstrates. With a GPA of 4.99, she earned many academic achievements including AP Scholar, Headmaster’s List, and departmental awards in Spanish, History and English. 

Nason is a member of The National Honor Society and National Spanish Honor Society and has been an active member of the Speech and Debate Team since its inception where she placed second in the Mauldin Tournament for poetry. She was a member of the yearbook staff and became the editor of 2019-2020 Aquila in her Junior year. She also was recognized as the local winner of the American Legion Oratorical Contest and third-place winner regionally. 

To feed her passion for writing, Nason attended Georgetown University’s Creative Writing Summer Program and was selected to attend South Carolina Governor’s School Creative Writing Summer Immersion program, a program notoriously difficult to gain admission to.

Beyond the realm of academics, she also excelled in sports and extracurriculars. Nason was a member of two varsity SCISA state championship teams; volleyball and tennis. 

Nason interacted with peers across the world at numerous academic, leadership and athletic programs. She participated in the Vanderbilt National Student Leadership Conference and Wake Forest Debate Camp.

“After attending Vanderbilt’s Leadership Intensive program, I knew Vanderbilt was my dream school,” Nason said. “I am grateful to several of my teachers who gave extra time and attention to help me gain admission to my dream school.”

Vanderbilt University is highly regarded for its small class sizes and small student-to-faculty ratio, an academic environment that Nason has been accustomed to at Beaufort Academy. 

Nason’s parents, Allen and Emily Nason, credit Emilie Claire’s work ethic and the opportunities Beaufort Academy afforded her – such as Speech and Debate, mock trial, independent study classes to advance her passions, nominations for coveted summer programs, and teachers who gave of themselves when they didn’t have to – for her success.

They also said top 10 statewide rankings on Niche made Beaufort Academy instantly credible to the top schools Nason applied to, which provided a definite competitive advantage.

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