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Stuart Thomas

Stamps 1693 Scholar

stamps logoStuart Thomas

Winter Park, FL (Winter Park HS)


Physics major with a Mathematics minor

Why W&M

What first caught my eye was the logo. The William & Mary cypher, an intertwined W and M, struck me on a high school marching band trip through Colonial Williamsburg. There was a certain elegance that symbolized the school's tradition and quality. From that point forward, each new thing I learned about the institution furthered my interest.

During the preliminary months of the grueling college admissions process, William & Mary found its way onto my list partly due to its position in the selective-yet-attainable range of US News and World Report's infamous college rankings. Still, I had some apprehensions. As a STEM student, I worried William & Mary's liberal arts focus would mean little to no opportunities for science and mathematics research. Also, I worried the small school atmosphere would feel claustrophobic. 

After much research on the internet, I decided to visit William & Mary the summer before my senior year. Unlike the other institutions I toured on the same trip, William & Mary seemed like a place for me. It was quirky and curious, deeply rooted in tradition yet comfortable reaching beyond its past. The size of the student body made it possible, according to my interviewer, to feel like a tight family yet also meet new people every day. Soon, I learned my previous worries were completely unfounded. William & Mary is a true university, despite its name, with intense scientific and mathematical research. Yes, there were other schools I liked more during my admissions process, but none that felt as much like home as William & Mary. 

I finally realized that I belong here when I visited for the third time as a 1693 Finalist. By seeing the campus as an incoming student, not prospect, I could truly visualize my life at William & Mary. I viewed the true essence of the student body through interactions with the current scholars. During the entirety of Finalist Weekend, I saw the school for what it truly is: a great community with incredible research and traditions, and I couldn't be happier to be part of it.

W&M Activities
Summer 2020
I worked on my honors thesis entitled “Defining condensates in low-dimension spin models” in the realm of lattice quantum chromodynamics.
Summer 2019

Quantum Research Intern for Microsoft Station Q in Santa Barbara CA

Summer 2018
Research in theoretical condensed matter physics
Awards and Honors

E.G. Clark Memorial Scholarship
RISE Germany Scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (did not accept)
Honorable Mention in COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modeling (January 2019)
High School Valedictorian

High School Activities and Interests
  • Amateur programmer (developed two iPhone apps—Mowerthon and ByteMachine)
  • Speaker of the House at Florida Boys State
  • Percussion Captain in the Marching Band
  • Trombonist in the Wind Ensemble
  • Member of Park Singers
  • Actor and director in the Theater Department
  • Volunteer swim lesson instructor
  • Founder and president of the Calligraphy Club
  • Odyssey of the Mind World Finalist