Wooster names Jacob Abramo 2021 Carpenter Prize Winner

Philosophy major honored as top pre-law student

May 5, 2021   /  
Jacob Abramo ’21
Jacob Abramo ’21

The College of Wooster awards the 2021 David L. Carpenter Pre-Law Prize to Jacob Abramo ’21 who will receive his degree in philosophy at Commencement this Saturday. The annual award honors Wooster’s top pre-law student and recognizes academic achievement, participation in Wooster’s pre-law advising program, experience as a student leader, and a commitment to personal honesty and integrity.

“I am honored to receive this amazing award and join the accomplished group of previous recipients,” said Abramo, who plans to use the award to support his enrollment at Boston College Law School in the fall. “Wooster has shaped me academically, professionally, and personally. While I majored in philosophy, I wanted to pursue an education where I could study a variety of fields and develop skills in seemingly unconnected areas.” Taking courses across multiple disciplines as well as participating in programs that allowed him to expand his skills and reflect on what he’d learned make Abramo feel well-prepared to pursue a graduate degree in law. “Wooster doesn’t graduate scientists, analysts, or historians, but it graduates students that are comfortable learning new things, have strong research, writing, and reading skills, and can go do anything with their careers,” he added.

The summer before his sophomore year, Abramo studied abroad through the Social Entrepreneurship Hungary Trek program, traveling to Villany wine region in Hungary and completing research with a team of students in the program to support tourism in the area. In his time at Wooster, he also completed an APEX Fellowship with the Wayne County Prosecutur’s Office and participated in AMRE, the College’s Applied Methods and Research Experience program supporting local businesses and organizations. For his senior Independent Study, John Rudisill, associate professor of philosophy, served as his mentor and Abramo noted that the experience “had a great impact” on him. “The conversations we had and the literature he shared with me that furthered my work helped me develop as a person,” said Abramo who explained that his project examined a financial system that promotes social equality. “Dr. Rudisill helped me connect work from many different eras and schools of thought. One of the reasons I want to go to law school is to continue the pursuit of solutions to the issues that led me to writing my I.S. Dr. Rudisill has had significant influence on my work at Wooster and the future I hope to have.”

Lisa Kastor, director of career planning and chair of the pre-law advising program at Wooster, sees Abramo as a strong leader on campus and well-prepared for law school as well as the profession. “His major in Philosophy prepared him to think critically, practice logic, and increase his communication skills both in written form and in presentations,” said Kastor. Abramo served in several leadership roles during his time at Wooster including president of the Jenny Investment Club and leader of APEX Assessment Team. He has also been an active student in the pre-law student group, organizing a panel of seniors admitted to law school about the application process for juniors and compiling a list of experiential learning options for students interested in law. “He has vision, an understanding of what it takes to get things accomplished, and loves serving in a role that benefits other students,” Kastor added.

Established by the Figgie Family Foundation in 1999, the Carpenter Prize commemorates the life of the late David Lyle Carpenter ’65, a leading tax and corporate lawyer and a partner in the Cleveland law firm of Calfee, Halter & Griswold L.L.P. Prior to his death in 1999, Carpenter was recognized by Best Lawyers in America for excellence in corporate law. He was also an active member of the Heights Christian Church and served on the board of the National Conference for Community and Justice. At Wooster, he won departmental honors in economics and lettered in track & field. He later attended the University of Michigan, where he earned both a master’s degree in business administration and a juris doctorate.