Twenty-three top students from across the U.S. joined an elite group of scholars when they were named as recipients of the 2015 Jerry R. Junkins Memorial National Merit Scholarships® at a luncheon recently at the Dallas Arboretum.

The scholarships, named in honor of TI’s late chairman, president and CEO Jerry Junkins, are awarded to sons or daughters of active, retired or deceased TI employees who are National Merit Scholarship Program finalists. Since its inception in 1996, TI’s Junkins Merit Scholarship program has awarded 344 scholarships, amounting to more than $1.2 million.

2015 Junkins Scholars: (front row, left to right) Sally Junkins (wife of the late Jerry Junkins); Florence Kam, Trinity Christian Academy; Bethany Colbert, Hebron High School; Ashley Lee, Greenhill School; Remya Menon, Greenhill School; Amy Ong, Plano West Senior High School; Adelaide Luhman, Edward S. Marcus High School; and Andy Smith, executive director, Texas Instruments Foundation; (second row, left to right) Dr. Peter Balyta, president of TI’s Education Technology Business; Brian Crutcher executive vice president of TI’s Business Operations; Victoria Zhou, Plano West Senior High School; Ian Little, Plano East Senior High School; Joshua Ying, Plano Senior High School; Thatcher Townson, homeschooled; Ashwin Leo, Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science; and Terri Grosh, TI’s worldwide employee engagement manager.

“The Junkins Scholars exhibit the qualities of academic rigor, leadership, service to the community and strong moral character,” said Brian Crutcher, executive vice president, TI Business Operations. “These young people hold a world of promise for future success, and TI is proud to honor their accomplishments.”

The 20 Texas students honored for their academic achievements this year are Katrina Chen of Allen, homeschooled; Serena Chen of Plano, Plano Senior High School; Minyoung Chung of McKinney, Heritage High School; Bethany Colbert of Carrollton, Hebron High School; Gerald Hu of Plano, Texas Academy of Math and Science; Florence Kam of Richardson, Trinity Christian Academy; Ashley Lee of Dallas, Greenhill School; Ashwin Leo of Carrollton, Texas Academy of Math and Science; I-Chun Lin of Plano, Plano Senior High School; Ian Little of Plano, Plano East Senior High School; Amy Liu of Dallas, Highland Park High School; Adelaide Luhman of Flower Mound, Edward S. Marcus High School; Remya Menon of Dallas, Greenhill School; Rishiprotim (Rik) Nag of Missouri City, Dulles High School; Aditya Nelakonda of Plano, Plano Senior High School; Amy Ong of Plano, Plano West Senior High School; Wellington Lawton Owen of Fort Worth, Robert L. Paschal High School; Thatcher Townson of Celina, homeschooled; Joshua Ying of Plano, Plano Senior High School; and Victoria Zhou of Plano, Plano West Senior High School.

Honorees from other communities include Caroline Ho of San Carlos, CA, Sacred Heart Preparatory School; Ye-Rim Park of San Ramon, CA, California High School; and Mingyi Wu of East Greenwich, RI, East Greenwich High School.

Each year, less than 1 percent of high school seniors nationwide achieve the status of National Merit Scholarship Program Semifinalist. Students are selected for the awards based on their scores on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, academic record, leadership abilities, writing skills and extracurricular activities.

TI funds the scholarships in partnership with the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, a private, not-for-profit organization.

Jerry Junkins became TI's chairman in 1988 and served until his death in 1996. His passion for education helped create model Head Start programs in the Dallas area. He was also chairman of the Citizens Council Education Committee and fought for education reform in Texas schools by promoting measurement and accountability in the classroom. Sally Junkins, wife of the late Mr. Junkins, presented the awards, along with Crutcher.