Lillis Scholarships Awarded to Outstanding Salt Lake City and Lafayette Students

November 5, 2019

TACOMA, Wash. – Seth Ack of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Samantha Webb of Lafayette, Colo., have been named University of Puget Sound Lillis Scholars. The university’s most prestigious and competitive award honoring incoming students for their academic excellence, the Lillis Scholarship covers tuition, fees, and room and board for up to four years.

Lillis Scholarships are generously funded by a gift from Gwendolyn H. Lillis P’05 and Charles M. Lillis P’05 through The Lillis Foundation. Lillis Scholars thrive on learning and exploring ideas, and are chosen for their outstanding academic performance, intellectual independence, and drive to pursue excellence throughout their lives. Ack and Webb are members of Puget Sound’s Class of 2023, and join a cohort of Lillis Scholars named since the program began awarding the scholarship in 2008. 

Seth Ack ’23 (Salt Lake City)

Seth Ack ’23Seth Ack says Puget Sound felt like home from the moment he stepped on campus. “I chose Puget Sound because I love the Northwest, but more than that, I really felt welcomed by all the people I met,” he says. “When I visited for my interview, everyone was super warm and friendly, and I knew I could spend my college career here.”

Ack says the thing he is most looking forward to in college is meeting new people. “I have lived in Salt Lake City my whole life, so I am excited to be in a new area, exploring new places and meeting new people outside my bubble,” he says.

“I have always been a big biology nerd,” says Ack. “I plan to eventually get a graduate degree in biomedical engineering, so I am really excited to delve deeper into human biology.”

Throughout his high school years, Ack’s many extracurricular activities ranged from interning at a stem cell research lab to playing first trumpet in jazz band. He also co-founded a charity called Young Men Making a Difference, which organizes community service projects in Salt Lake City.

Samantha Webb ’23 (Lafayette)

Samantha Webb ’23Samantha (Sam) Webb says choosing where to attend college wasn’t easy, but she’s confident in her decision to become a Logger. “I really like the small, liberal arts aspects of Puget Sound,” she says. “I feel that I'm going to get a very well-rounded and personalized education here in beautiful Tacoma!”

Webb says she can’t wait to arrive on campus and begin “learning, connecting, and growing!”

“I'm beyond excited to take classes on subjects that I find interesting and meaningful, and to meet other similarly passionate students,” she says.

Academically, Webb plans to fully embrace the range of subject offerings at Puget Sound. “I plan to study a wide range of things: computer science, mathematics, theater, and classics—especially Shakespeare,” she says. “I’m also considering the dual degree engineering program.”

In high school, Webb’s numerous scholastic activities included serving as president of the theater and improv companies and vice president of the technology student association, as well as being a member of the diving team and a math tutor.


About the Lillis Scholars Program

The Lillis Scholars Program was established in 2007 through a generous gift made by The Lillis Foundation to recognize academic excellence and encourage intellectual independence. Gwen Lillis is chair of The Lillis Foundation; a trustee emerita of the University of Puget Sound; and chair of the board of advisors at the University of Oregon Lundquist College of Business. Charles Lillis is former chair and chief executive of MediaOne Group, founding partner of LoneTree Capital Management, and chair of the board of trustees at the University of Oregon. Gwen and Charles are the parents of Puget Sound alumna Jessica Baker Isaacs ’05. Each year, two Lillis Scholars are selected from the incoming first-year class.

For information about eligibility for the Lillis Scholars Program, contact the Office of Admission at 253.879.3211 or visit