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Leo Murphy

Class of 1940 1693 ScholarLeo Murphy


Williamsburg, VA
(Jamestown HS / Governor’s School for Science and Technology) 


Mathematics and Physics double major

Why W&M

I’ve lived in Williamsburg my whole life. Growing up, I had plenty of ways to experience what William & Mary was like. In going to William & Mary-hosted quizbowl tournaments, working on research projects with William & Mary faculty, and even taking William & Mary math classes as a high school student, I learned firsthand how seriously this place takes its commitment to its community.

I was excited to be considered for the 1693 Scholars Program; I understood how big of an opportunity it was. At first, though, I was still concerned about William & Mary being too close to home. However, after a teacher and a current 1693 scholar who were in similar situations shared their own positive experiences with me, I felt convinced that I would find no trouble being my own person at William & Mary. 

I loved meeting the other awesome, friendly, dedicated, and constantly helpful 1693 scholars, current and future. Even though the coronavirus pandemic prevented us from seeing each other in person, I know after our virtual meetings and online game nights that they are the kind of people I want to spend four years with. I am certain that I made the right choice when I accepted the 1693 scholarship offer and that I will feel at home at William & Mary.

W&M Activities
Summer 2021

Over this past summer, I rewrote and updated code for analyzing data from plasma physics experiments. This code may help improve understanding of drift-wave turbulence in plasmas and I'll present my research at a physics conference in November. Professor Mordijck was my advisor for this project.

High School Activities
  • Rowing (Williamsburg Boat Club)
  • Scholastic Bowl Captain
  • Middle school MathCounts volunteer
  • Math Teacher Assistant
  • Math Honor Society President
  • French Honor Society President
Awards / Distinctions
  • 2019 US Physics Olympiad national top 150
  • Four-time American Invitational Mathematics Exam qualifier
  • Three-time Scholastic Bowl 4A division state champion team
  • National Merit Finalist
  • VA Governor’s French Academy
  • VA Boys State House of Delegates
  • Outstanding Junior Research Award