Roe, Tuong Earn Blakeslee Erdmann Scholarships Award Created in Memory of Benjamin Alumnus


Photo courtesy of Mr. Carr

The Erdmann scholarship will award two seniors, one male and one female. It honors the late Blake Erdmann, pictured above.

Sophia Liporace, Co-Editor-in-Chief

A $2,500 grant, the Blake E. Erdmann scholarship was recently brought to the Benjamin community in honor of Blake Erdmann ‘17, an admired member of the School community who tragically passed away in January of 2021.

Erdmann was heavily involved in the community throughout his time at Benjamin. An award-winning,  four-year varsity lacrosse player, Erdmann went on to play lacrosse at Washing- ton College. While he was not valedictorian or captain of his team, Erdmann was admired as a hard worker and dedicated individual.

Lisa and Peter Erdmann, Blake’s parents, said that, “Blake had an infectious personality: warm, generous, high energy and fun loving to say the least. He was always up for a good time and everyone was included. Blake had a very strong belief in what was right and what was wrong. He was deeply loyal to his friends and teammates, welcoming to everyone. His charisma made him larger than life and allowed him to fill his 22 short years with more living than most people do in all their years.”

Erdmann’s admirable qualities will be considered as Lisa and Peter Erdmann, implement this scholarship for years to come. According to the Head of the Upper School Mr. Fletcher Carr, the process of creating this scholarship was lengthy and started with the Erdmann family’s desire tohonor a student similar to Blake.

“If a family or some affiliate of the school wants to start a scholarship fund, the first thing they’ll do is run it by the chief advancement officer, Mr. Fanjul and the head of school, Mr Faus. They will determine if it fits appropriate parameters and how the funds will be managed and implemented. They will then sign a formal agreement between the school and the donors and a scholarship description will then be distributed,” said Mr. Carr.

The scholarship was announced to seniors on Mar. 1 via an emailfrom Mr. Carr. Students applying for the scholarship were required to submit a 500-word essay on how their experience as a student-athlete modeled some of the attributes that made Erdmann a special person on and off the field. Students were also required to submit two letters of recommendation. From there, finalists were selected to be interviewed by the Erdmann family.

Out of thirteen submitted applications, there were three male and three female finalists: Addie Bounds, Mark Cueto, Gabe Griffith, Ainsley Mitchell, Brock Roe, and Teresa Tuong.

Tuong, a senior and varsity wrestler, applied for the scholarship and endured the interview process. “I applied for the scholarship because of the generous award that came with it. For my essay, I wrote about how I demonstrate characteristics such as leadership and courage,” she said.

When asked about the scholarship, Lisa Erdmann said that she and her husband wanted to continue Blake’s legacy at Benjamin by honoring a student similar to him: a strong character student-athlete who always works hard regardless of what is put in their way. “Blake’s life captured so much of what is good about The Benjamin School and what the school strives to instill in its students and greater community. We want to ensure that every year the student-athletes who carry on his legacy of hard work and joy of life, are recognized in his honor,” she said.

Mr. Carr stated that any candidate the Erdmann’s select from the finalists will be very deserving of the grant and that he is proud to present excellent members of the class of the 2022 with this award.

At the senior awards program on May 16, Teresa Tuong and Brock Roe were announced at the first recipients of the Erdmann scholarships.