A young man’s dream of space exploration is that much closer to reality when he graduates college this spring. But that’s not even the most amazing part of his story. When he graduates this May, he’ll be just 19-years-old. That’s right, when most students are either just starting or completing their freshman year, 19-year-old Ronald McCullough will be a college graduate.
McCullough, whose genius-level intelligence allowed him to skip second grade altogether, was 15 when he finished high school and just 16 when he arrived at CAU. He will graduate from college with honors with a B.A. in biology before resuming his career later in the fall when he enrolls in the biological/agricultural engineering program at North Carolina A&T.
“I would not consider myself a genius,” McCullough said in a statement released by the school. “I was placed in a setting for my love of learning to manifest. Much was expected of me and there was little room for disappointment.”
McCullough, whose mother graduated from the former Clark College, thrived in his college environment, despite being at least two years younger than most of his classmates.
He was one of nearly 200 students who are members of the Isabella T. Jenkins Honors and Scholars Program at CAU that was led by Dr. Teri Platt. The program seeks to provide students with the ultimate learning experience while enrolled at CAU. Some of its goals are to nurture and foster intellectual independence and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence, according to the school.
“Ronald embodies the best and the brightest we have here at CAU,” Platt said in a statement. “He definitely represents black excellence and its many manifestations. Not only is he brilliant, he has unimpeachable character. He has contagious drive and ambition, but remains grounded.”
McCullough quickly became a hot commodity among post-graduate engineering programs seeking to recruit him, including N.C. A&T and University of Hawaii.
“I just wake up in the morning and do the right thing,” he said when asked how he has been so successful at such a young age. “Just by doing what I believe is the right thing for my future, I’ve been rewarded greatly.”