Student Spotlight: Sam Summerlin, GWSB ’17

dsc_5486As an elite defender on the GW men’s soccer team, Sam Summerlin gets few chances to score. However, when it comes to his education, Sam is determined to assist in any way he can.

“The biggest thing for me is to lessen the burden on my family,” says the Gaithersburg, Maryland native. “Any way I can contribute to my expenses, I’ll take that shot.”

Sam applied for, and earned, the Dombay Family Scholarship, which supports an undergraduate student-athlete studying business. GW swim team alumna Denise Dombay, BBA ’88, created the scholarship as a way to give back.

“A student scholarship is a personal thing,” says Denise. “You can donate money for a brick, a wall, a room, or a building, but in this case I’m helping to fund a student’s education. I’ve met the parents of some of my recipients, and I can see it made a difference in their lives, too.”

Denise also offers her time and advice.

“Denise has helped me financially,” says Sam, “but she’s also gone the extra mile and offered career assistance for me—and that’s something you really can’t put a price on.”

Look for Sam to follow Denise’s advice and switch to offense once he graduates.

“If I have the chance to give back in the same way she’s done for me,” says Sam, “that’s a no-brainer.”

A no-brainer, but a header just the same. —Craig Burdick

This article was originally published in the fall 2016 issue of Impact magazine

Author: Craig Burdick

Craig Burdick is a writer on GW's development communications team. If you have a story idea, let him know at

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