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April 13, 2011

Hall is awarded UK’s Singletary Scholarship

Somerset — Colby Hall is full of clever ideas. Last year, he asked a girl to his high school prom by displaying the proposal on a message board outside a local business.

This year, the Somerset High School senior’s mind is being celebrated, as he is one of only 25 recipients of this year’s Otis A. Singletary Scholarship at the University of Kentucky.

Hall, 18, learned he won the scholarship last month after beginning the application process in January.

The Singletary Scholarship, the most prestigious scholar-ship given out by the University of Kentucky, pays for tuition, room and board for four years and provides a $1,500 per year stipend. Hall also was chosen as the winner of a $1,000 Sweet 16 KHSAA/PNC Scholarship.

An athlete who has played baseball, basketball, football and soccer throughout his high school career, Hall said he set a goal for himself to earn the Singletary scholarship.

During the first phase of the application process, Hall had to submit an essay along with his high school transcript. Some of Hall’s mentors, including longtime baseball coach Phil Grundy, also submitted letters of recommendation.

More than a month after the initial paperwork had been submitted, Hall received a letter stating that he’d been chosen to participate in the interview portion of the process.

“In February, I went to the UK campus and went before the interview committee,” Hall said. “It was very relaxed. They asked some basic questions — Why did you choose UK? What can you contribute to the school?”

About a week later, he received another letter, this time congratulating him on being selected as a scholarship recipient.

“I accepted right away,” Hall said.

Hall said he doesn’t know how many people applied for the Singletary scholarship this year, but he said 80 candidates were interviewed and 25 received it.

Grundy said yesterday that, as of right now, Hall is set to graduate first in his class this spring.

Later this summer, he’ll head to Lexington to begin his studies at UK. He intends to major in biology.

“That can all change once I start taking classes and get a feel for what interests me,” he said, “but right now I want to go into medicine. Dermatology would be my dream. ... I really like science, so hopefully I’ll get into medicine.”

Hall said he feels honored to have been chosen for the scholarship.

“I feel really blessed,” he said. “I know I wouldn’t be where I am without my parents and teachers and coaches.”

He also said he gives God the glory for his success.

Grundy said he’ll miss Hall when he graduates this year. The two have been a part of each other’s lives through baseball for the last six years. Colby’s older brother, Chase, a 2008 SHS graduate, also played baseball under Grundy. His younger brother, Charlie, is a current player.

“I’ve had eight years of Halls,” Grundy said.

“We’ll miss (Colby) a lot. The team will experience a huge loss as far as his leadership.”

Grundy describes Hall as well-rounded, energetic, and straightforward. He says Hall’s sense of humor and personality has made him fun to be around for the last several years.

“(My youngest child) follows him around at practice all the time,” Grundy said.

“He’s got so many things going on — academics, athletics, church. For him to handle all that and be able to graduate first in his class is remarkable. ...

“He’s a great representative of our school system, and what we all hope our kids grow up to be like. ... He will turn into a great leader somewhere. The opportunities available to him will be limitless.” 

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