Neenah High School senior Thomas Hameister has been named the recipient of the prestigious Van Vleck scholarship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison mathematics department.
The Van Vleck scholarship is awarded on the basis of an individual timed and proctored competitive written examination offered at various locations in Wisconsin each April. The top performers on the talent search problems are invited to Madison to compete for the scholarship. Typically, one winner and two runners-up are chosen. The scholarship is for $6,000 per year for four years.
“Thomas has achieved many things over the past four years,” said math department chair and teacher Rich Frost. “He has spent countless hours during the school year writing detailed solutions to problems in each of the five problem sets that the Talent Search requires students to complete. Every year he has qualified to take the scholarship test but until this year he was not fortunate enough to be named the winner. I am proud of all of Thomas’ accomplishments, however this one puts him in a class by himself not only here in Neenah, but across the state.”
Hameister will attend UW-Madison in the fall and major in mathematics with a possible double major in biochemistry. He is just the fourth winner of the scholarship from the Fox Valley area and the first from Neenah in its 24-year history. Previous local recipients were Chad Koch from Appleton West in 2001, Nick Wage from Appleton East in 2003 and Matthew Wage from Appleton East in 2007.
Hameister was the top individual performer in the Fox Valley Math League the past two years and was a three-time all-league honoree after leading Neenah to the team title three straight years from 2011-13. A member of National Honor Society, Hameister owns a 4.0 grade point average with a rigorous schedule of Advanced Placement classes. He was also named a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship. Hameister was a member of Neenah's two-time state champion chess teams and competed in cross country and track and field.