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Scholar Spotlight

Bill Eugene

June 13, 2024

It’s not every day that you find a college student waking up excited to study organic chemistry. Meet Bill Eugene ’14, an ambitious Boston College junior pursuing a degree in exactly that. A member of the McNair Baccalaureate Program and James Morken’s Chemistry Lab, Bill is further aspiring toward a Ph.D. and a career in pharmaceuticals. He credits his achievements and ambitions to Steppingstone and the schools it led him to: the Park School and Milton Academy.

Bill Eugene stands with fellow Scholar Arianna Perryman-Greene at her graduation from the Park School, at which he is a commencement speaker.


Life Lessons in Middle School

This spring, Bill was honored with the invitation to return to the campus of his middle school days as Park’s graduation speaker. He recalls that while attending the school, he was able to “implement and fine-tune the time management and organization skills” that he learned from summers with Steppingstone. These were also the years when a fear of imperfection surfaced in Bill, and facing that challenge taught him an important life lesson. 

“That moment was monumental,” he reflects. “I was able to learn how to advocate for myself and not struggle in silence. During that period, I also learned that failing is part of the journey and how people grow.” He thanks his math teacher, Mr. Kellogg, for teaching him the importance of advocating for oneself. By learning to ask for help early on in challenging courses, Bill ultimately passed with flying colors.

By the time his high school admission decisions arrived, Bill had an impressive roster of options between Milton Academy, Belmont Hill, and Thayer Academy. He ultimately chose to continue his education at Milton Academy and reflects, “if I could go back in time and make that decision again, I’d still end up choosing Milton 10 times out of 10. Milton was so fundamental in me becoming who I am today.”

An Appetite for Knowledge in High School

As Bill settled into his high school years, Milton fostered his early interests in chemistry and set him on his current path. Bill thanks his chemistry teacher, Julie Seplaki, for recognizing his potential and encouraging him to register for the organic chemistry elective. There, he quickly learned just how much he loved the subject, and now likens it to solving “one big puzzle.” 

Todd Bland, Steppingstone board member and former head of Milton Academy, recalls Bill taking full advantage of his education. “He did phenomenal work in every academic discipline at Milton. He's a lover of science and of math,” Todd expressed when introducing Bill as a keynote speaker at Steppingstone’s Spring Party. 

Todd Bland, Steppingstone board member and former head of Milton Academy, shakes hands with Bill Eugene.

In turn, Bill attests that Milton made his transition to Boston College (BC) “seamless.” 

“I often like to say that being at BC feels like I’m doing Milton for another four years academically. That is not a knock to BC’s academic rigor, but is more so a testament to how well Milton prepared me for what’s to come.” Through his hard work and persistence at BC, Bill has already earned academic achievement awards—Sophomore Scholars and Dean’s Scholar—over the past two years. 

A Foundation for Success at Steppingstone

Thinking back to when he first joined Steppingstone 10 years ago, Bill reflects: “being a Steppingstone Scholar caused a ripple effect in my life, allowing me to continually push myself to being the best Scholar that I can be and commit myself to my passion.” 

Mary Sullivan, now the Vice President of Enrollment Management at Steppingstone, was Bill’s Advisor when he was young. She was thrilled to reunite with Bill and his mother when he spoke at Steppingstone’s Spring Party. 

Bill and his mother catch up with his former Steppingstone Advisor, Mary Sullivan.

Mary reminisces:

“I remember Bill as an incredibly polite and hard-working student with an easy smile. Despite his young age, he was remarkably serious about his studies, always striving to do his best and eager to learn. His curiosity led him to ask countless questions in class, which made him a favorite among his teachers. Yet, he also had a playful side, often being goofy and fun with his friends. From a young age, his mom was a significant source of inspiration and motivation for him, and she was a very proud parent. Together, they make a great team.”

A Lasting Impact

As much as Bill credits his academic establishments for playing such a significant role in shaping him as a person, Bill has left a lasting impact on these communities as well. 

For example, in pre-calculus class at Milton, Todd Bland remembers that Bill came up with a new mathematical rule involving polynomials. Milton students came to know it as “the Bill Rule,” and it is still discussed in class to this day. 

Meanwhile, at Steppingstone, Bill spent two of his high school summers working as a teaching assistant and serving as a role model to younger Scholars. 

In high school, Bill served as a mentor to younger Scholars while working as a Steppingstone teaching assistant.

He also made an impact as an Admission Ambassador, connecting with prospective Scholars and families to share with them the value of the program. Later, in his college years, Bill even made time to give Scholars a tour of the BC campus and made them feel right at home.

Though his time as an undergraduate is nearing an end, this is only the beginning for Bill. As he sets his sights on an impactful career in pharmaceuticals, he is sure to continue making a positive difference in the many lives around him.

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