Thiagarajan is top BMS honoree

FHS 2018 graduate Kai Thiagarajan, center, recently received a $2,000 Balanced Man Scholarship from Sigma Phi Epsilon. Celebrating his win at the awards banquet were his brother, Shyam Thiagarajan, and his mother, Kristina Thiagarajan.
Farragut High School Class of 2018 graduate Kai Thiagarajan recently received a $2,000 scholarship from Sigma Phil Epsilon during its annual Balanced Man Scholarship Awards presentation Aug. 16.

He was the top award winner among seven scholarship recipients selected by the fraternity, which gave $6,500 overall to honorees from across the state.

According to a press release, BMS committee members look for “well-rounded students who are not only mastering their academics, but are also highly engaged on and off their high school campus. Leadership roles and community service were also very important.”

Thiagarajan more than fit the committee’s criteria, as his numerous high school honors, awards and accomplishments included student body president, a 2017 AP scholar with distinction, National Honor Society, FHS Mathematics Departmental Award, student body treasurer for the Student Government Association, FHS Science Academy and one of a cohort of students conducting research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and/or the University of Tennessee.

He also has been active in the community, with many volunteer efforts such as working with the Town of Farragut Book Fest, FHS Hall of Fame Ceremony, the FHS Student Government-led MEDIC blood drive and working with the FUEL ministry program at FHS.

In addition to listing his accomplishments, Thiagarajan also was required to complete an essay titled “What Does it Mean to Be a Balanced Man?” for further consideration.

Thiagarajan currently is a freshman at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with plans to major in biochemistry plus cellular and molecular biology. Following his undergraduate studies, he said he plans to attend medical school.

Scholarship recipients are not required to join a fraternity, but Thiagarajan said the scholarship process and award piqued his interest in Greek life, and he is considering the “Rush” process during spring semester.

In addition to the Balanced Man Scholarships, Sigma Phi Epsilon also announced more than $50,000 has been given to chapter members attending UT for the current academic year.