Supporting Generations of Undergraduate Scientists

David Elias BK ’16, one of the three 2015–2016 Bullard Scholarship recipients

For the past four decades, more than sixty Yale undergraduate science majors have received generous financial assistance from the endowed scholarship created by a bequest from the estate of Edgar F. Bullard, Ph.B. 1921.

After returning from the service as a seaman in World War I, Bullard studied geology and engineering at Yale. Later in life, he used some of the resources garnered from a highly successful career in the oil business to leave a gift in his will to provide scholarships for Yale undergraduate scientists.

David Elias BK ‘16 is a current Bullard Scholarship recipient. Majoring in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, he is in charge of his own project studying the Epstein-Barr virus in a lab at Yale School of Medicine. While research is a critical component of David’s academic life and career plans, he reports that his time spent in the laboratory has had an even greater personal impact: “Through my involvement in scientific research, I’ve learned to be a lot more patient and look at the big picture and my long term goals. There have been times where I’ve been frustrated with failed experiments or insufficient results, but my love of learning and discovery has pushed me to work even harder. I believe my research has given me an important set of tools for success in the professional world.”

Outside the classroom and laboratory, David is involved in community service endeavors including New Haven REACH, an organization that mentors local high school students. He remarks, “I find it difficult to fully express how grateful I am for this scholarship. What truly stands out to me about Yale are its residential college system, its engaging academics, and its commitment to undergraduates. I hope to help other students realize some of the same significant experiences that I have had here.”

Following graduation, David has been accepted into a two year post-baccalaureate program at the National Institutes of Health before going to graduate school in biochemistry. Ultimately, he hopes to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. He says, “Maybe one day I’ll be a professor and inspire students the same way my Yale professors have inspired me.”