Alumni Profiles

Sam Zahn

Campus: UNC
Hometown: Allentown, PA
High School: Parkland High School

From a young age, I remember learning anything about everything just so I could keep up with family conversations at the dinner table. Being uneducated on an issue meant being quickly dismissed by my older siblings. I had to offer new insights to be included as an intellectual equal. As I grew up, I played devil’s advocate to extend conversations and learned that taking on different viewpoints helped me to understand topics on an abstract level.

Moving into high school, this desire for a constantly shifting, evolving perspective remained. I’ve been fortunate to be the beneficiary of great advice. My teachers, friends, and brothers have pushed me in ways I once thought unimaginable. This has sparked an interest in a variety of fields, many of them intertwined and some seemingly isolated: philosophy, literature, public policy, political science, German, psychology, statistics.

The extracurriculars at my large public high school in Allentown, Pennsylvania really are second to none. They have allowed me to explore the aforementioned fields and more importantly, make great friends. I dedicated a lot of my high school days to Tennis, BBYO, Jewish Culture Club, Debate Team, German Club, Student Council, and Mock Trial. The activities themselves were always challenging and fun but it truly is the people I met through these experiences that made them what they were: genuinely transformative.

In my freetime, you can find me playing on the Rec League Basketball Champions JCC team, serving as commissioner of a highly competitive, no-money fantasy football league, or reading.

What drew you to the Robertson Program?

I subscribe to the notion that in order to better yourself, you need to examine who you are surrounding yourself with. I want to surround myself with the best possible people and I see that in the Robertson scholars. Moreover, the Robertson presents an incredible opportunity to be financially independent right out of college. When deciding between universities, I found myself trying to decide in which university to invest. The Robertson, rather, represents an investment in my future. I found this really remarkable that someone would actively invest in my future and give me the resources and support to ensure that my future is not only successful but also defined by a commitment to community.

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