Citing his desire for a challenging college experience and the ability to right wrongs around the globe, Allan C. Williams, the student body president at Shortridge High School, will attend the U.S. Naval Academy this fall.
Williams, the son of Cynthia and Eric Williams, selected the Naval Academy over several other opportunities, including the Army’s U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His father is a chaplain. His mother is an academic advisor at IUPUI.
“With an interest in international issues, I find the U.S. military plays a big part in policing the world and being a force for good,” he said. “I think the U.S. military, in coordination with the U.N. and NATO, does well around the globe and is a strong proponent for freedom and democracy.
“And it is all about the challenge. I didn’t want a typical college experience, but rather, I’d want the warrior-monk existence found at the academy.”
Military service academies are among the most selective colleges in the country. Based on the fall 2020 entering class, the Naval Academy and West Point each offered appointments to 9 percent of applicants, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Merchant Marine Academy accepted 16 percent.
Williams said his interest in science—particularly engineering and physics—played a strong role in attending the Naval Academy, which is noted for such strong academic programs. He plans on majoring in aerospace engineering.
Around Shortridge, Williams is known as a strong communicator with incredible potential.
“Allan is dogged, intellectually curious, athletic, kind, and service oriented,” said Sarah TeKolste, a Spanish teacher and service-learning coordinator. “He is an impeccable student, athlete, musician, and role model for his peers. We are very proud of all he has accomplished, and we are excited to see how he continues to change the world.
Jenny Bielefeld, a history teacher at Shortridge, is impressed by Williams’ communication skills, noting his dedication in the classroom.
“He has the courage to say what he thinks which brings out his confidence and allows him to communicate effectively in his work. His body language often shows his willingness to listen to others and not judge their opinions or thoughts. He is well rounded and often tries to add to points others make. I always loved his excitement when he learned something new and then made the connection as to why something else happened based on this new knowledge.”
Service academies provide free education that includes military training. Graduates are commissioned as officers and must serve on active duty.
Williams isn’t the first Shortridge graduate to attend a military academy. Raymond A. Spruance was a U.S. Navy admiral during World War II. He died in 1969. Also, Rear Admiral William E. Powell, Jr., who passed away in 2019, served the Navy with distinction for 30 years, retiring in 1988.