Advancing Oakland

Nathaniel Oberdier: A Beacon of Promise

Honored by the Patrick and Christie Scoggin Foundation Scholarship


icon of a calendarNovember 8, 2023

icon of a pencilBy Catherine Ticer

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For many students, college decisions often hinge on financial factors. For Nathaniel Oberdier, an ambitious freshman at Oakland University, the Patrick and Christie Scoggin Foundation Scholarship has made a significant difference in his educational journey.

Located near his Rochester home, Oakland University was a convenient choice for Oberdier. However, what cemented his decision was the opportunity to dive deep into the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) at OU's School of Engineering and Computer Science. "When I was applying to Oakland, I realized that there's an AI program that just opened up," says Oberdier. "I can't believe how much technology has changed for the better, and I'm excited to be a part of this evolution."

While his passion for AI is evident, the financial aspect of higher education weighed heavily on Oberdier and his family. "I have two younger siblings. I don’t know if my parents could really afford to help me without taking out a couple of loans," he revealed. “The Patrick and Christie Scoggin Foundation Scholarship has really helped out my family," he gratefully acknowledges.

The Scoggin Scholarship is a testament to the generosity and vision of Patrick and Christie Scoggin. Established 12 years ago, this full-tuition scholarship targets incoming OU freshmen with demonstrated academic success from Rochester Adams, Rochester, Avondale and Stoney Creek High Schools. While Patrick, who passed away in 2020, is remembered as a selfless individual dedicated to uplifting others, Christie, his equally dedicated wife, continues to forward their shared mission.

Oberdier’s journey from Rochester Adams High School, where he maintained an impressive GPA of 4.05, to Oakland University's honors college has been filled with excitement and new encounters. "There are so many faces that I've never met before and a lot of interesting personalities," he shares.

Oberdier’s dedication and multifaceted interest did not go unnoticed at Rochester Adams. His band director, Matthew Harris, lauds him as “an excellent musician” and a technology whiz, while his mathematics teacher, Shelley L. Newsome, praises his academic prowess and involvement in extracurricular activities, including hockey, Boy Scouts, catechism and marching band.\

While juggling afternoon classes at OU, Oberdier has been actively helping his grandfather transition to a retirement home, assisting him in clearing out, cleaning and maintaining his old house. The bond between them is palpable. Nathaniel speaks of his grandfather with reverence noting, "He is my inspiration, and I constantly look up to him. Someday, I hope to be a fraction of how great a person he is.”

Outside of academics and family, Oberdier looks forward to joining OU's boxing club and taking advantage of the myriad of job fairs the university offers. As he reflects on his time so far, he confidently states, "honestly, attending OU is the best decision I’ve made."

Oberdier expresses immense gratitude for the scholarship and the opportunities it provides. “I’m really honored that I received this scholarship,” he shares, “and I hope to make them proud.”
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