Honoring our Thoroughbred Scholars

Distinguished HBCU, STEM, and Community Scholars from Norfolk Southern’s 2022 and 2023 classes of Thoroughbred Scholars visited Atlanta this week to be recognized and celebrated for their academic achievements and dedication to their communities. Lynsee Brown, Alana Gulley, Madeleine Bender, and Brody Greene were honored at a company luncheon at Norfolk Southern’s headquarters Wednesday with President and CEO Alan Shaw. The students also caught an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Truist Park alongside their families and members of Norfolk Southern’s leadership team.

Launched in July 2022, the Thoroughbred Scholars program each year provides 100 scholarships for up to $10,000 over four years to children of Norfolk Southern employees, along with three additional scholarships for distinguished students who will receive rewards of up to $40,000 over four years.

“Since kicking off the program last year, we’re proud to have given out more than 200 scholarships to children of Norfolk Southern employees,” said Shaw. “These scholars have all worked really hard–in the classroom, and in their communities–and it’s an honor to be part of their journey.”

Recognized for their commitments to community service and academic excellence, the three 2023 Thoroughbred Scholars — who hail from Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Ohio — were selected as this year’s Community, HBCU, and STEM scholars. Brody Greene of Pennsylvania, the inaugural 2022 STEM scholar, also attended the luncheon.

During the celebratory luncheon, these scholars and their parents had the opportunity to connect with Shaw, as well as other company leaders involved with their scholarship type and field of study.

Lynsee Brown of Avella, Pennsylvania, was selected as this year’s Community Scholar award for her community leadership and volunteer work. Brown currently studies psychology and criminology at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. An active member of the school’s Criminology Club, she also made the Dean’s List during both fall and spring semesters of 2022 and 2023. She is the daughter of John Brown, a Signalman who has worked for Norfolk Southern in Pittsburgh for 27 years.

Alana Gulley of Atlanta, Georgia, was selected as this year’s HBCU Scholar award, given annually to a student attending a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). Gulley plans to study psychology at Howard University as a Howard Achievers Scholar and hopes to pursue a career in forensic psychology. In high school, she served as President of the Science National Honor Society and made principal honor roll all four years. Gulley has also received numerous awards, including Freemont Scholar, Delta Sigma Theta Presidential Scholar, National Honors Society Scholar, and P. Phashions Scholar. Her stepfather, Edward Lee, works out of Norfolk Southern’s Atlanta headquarters as Supervisor Purchasing.

Madeleine Bender of Mentor, Ohio, was selected as this year’s STEM Scholar for her pursuit of a degree in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field. She plans to study biomedical science and biochemical engineering at Case Western Reserve University. While a student at Mentor High School, she served as Science Olympiad Captain and received a STEM honors diploma. Additionally, Bender was recognized for her excellence at various science and engineering fairs with honors including being named a Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair Finalist and Northeastern Ohio Science & Engineering Fair Grand Award Winner. Outside the sciences, Bender was an accomplished musician in the Mannheim and Symphony Orchestras. Her father, Thomas Bender, has worked for Norfolk Southern for 18 years as an Engineer in Conneaut, Ohio.