EC names Ronald Reagan Leadership Fellows

Matthew Caldwell

Matthew Caldwell

Ellé LeClaire

Ellé LeClaire

Robert “Bobby” Mathius

Robert “Bobby” Mathius

Johnny Tran

Johnny Tran

Trever Zeibert

Trever Zeibert

Sarah Zuniga

Sarah Zuniga



Eureka College has selected six incoming freshmen as Reagan Fellows in the Ronald W. Reagan Leadership Program.

The award, based on leadership, service and academic excellence, includes a full-tuition scholarship over four years and global travel and professional mentorship opportunities. The students were selected from a field of 90 semifinalists in a competition held on campus in February.

They are:

Matthew Caldwell, a son of Duane and Maxine Caldwell of Gurnee. Caldwell attends Warren Township High School, where he is a captain of the Academic Team and a member of the Chess Club, National Honor Society and Teen Court. He is a student athletic trainer and a physical education assistant for special education students. He teaches at a local martial arts school. Caldwell is undecided about a major, but plans to enter the medical field.

Ellé LeClaire, a daughter of Ronald and Karen LeClaire of Peotone. LeClaire attends Peotone High School, where she is president of the Science Club, a member of Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering, Show Choir, International Culture Club, National Honor Society and is an aide in the guidance office. She works for the Peotone Park District and is a volunteer at the Peotone Public Library and the Peotone Historical Society. LeClaire plans to major in environmental studies.

Robert “Bobby” Mathius, a son of Jamie Sims of Tinley Park. Mathius attends Tinley Park High School, where he is president of the senior class, editor of the school newspaper and a member of Interact community service club, Seekers cultural diversity club, National Honor Society and Drama Club, in which he played lead roles in five productions. He is a peer juror for the Tinley Park Police Department and a reporter for the Tinley Park newspaper. Mathius plans to major in communication.

Johnny Tran, a son of Khanh Tran of Houston. Tran attends Chinquapin Preparatory School, Highlands, Texas, where he is a dormitory captain at the prep school’s middle school and a mathematics tutor. He is a member of the speech and debate team, Men’s Group, Interact community service club, A-Team that promotes theater and literature, track team and tennis team. He taught children how to use computers as a volunteer in South Africa last summer. Tran plans to major in biology education.

Trever Zeibert, a son of Jason and Traci Zeibert of Monee. Zeibert attends Peotone High School, where he is a member of the Student Council, International Culture Club, National Honor Society and the football, basketball and baseball teams. He volunteers at a local veterans’ home and as a scorekeeper for a children’s football league. He is an umpire for the community summer baseball program. Zeibert plans to major in business administration.

Sarah Zuniga, a daughter of Jose Zuniga and Debra Zuniga, both of Oregon. Zuniga attends Oregon High School, where she is editor of the yearbook, president of the Poetry Slam committee and a member of the Principal-Student Advisory Council, the concert and marching bands, madrigals, musical theater productions and National Honor Society. She is manager of the girls’ basketball team. She is a correspondent for the local community newspaper and an activity director at a local dude ranch. Zuniga plans to major in sociology and psychology.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome these six Reagan Fellows to this distinguished leadership program,” said Eureka College President J. David Arnold. “All of them have superb records to date in learning, service and leadership. Their futures are bright, and we are delighted that they chose Eureka as their special place to flourish during their college years.”

Besides receiving full tuition, Reagan Fellows participate in workshops and retreats throughout the school year. During the summers of their sophomore and junior years, Reagan Fellows have mentorships with leaders in their field within the United States and abroad. The program pays for travel and living expenses for the mentorships.

The Reagan Leadership Program is in its 31st year. The program is named for Ronald W. Reagan, 40th president of the United States and a 1932 graduate of Eureka College.