Robert A. Marsland, an 18-Year-Old Wisconsin High School Student From Madison, Wins GSN'S First-Ever 'National Vocabulary Championship'
Marsland Outperforms 49 Other Top Vocabulary Scholars From Across America
to Win $40,000 in a Higher Education Savings Plan
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education
Ray Simon and Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education Joel
Klein Attend Inaugural Event at The New York Public Library
NEW YORK, March 5 -- Robert A. Marsland, an 18-year-old
senior at St. Ambrose Academy in Madison, Wisconsin, outperformed 49 other
national vocabulary high school scholars today, winning the first-ever GSN
National Vocabulary Championship. As the national champion, Marsland won
$40,000 toward a 529 higher education savings plan, a commemorative trophy
and the title of National Vocabulary Champion. GSN will air a one-hour
special based on the NVC finale Sunday, April 15, 8 PM ET/PT.
Several prominent dignitaries were on hand to support the NVC finale
held at The New York Public Library, among them: New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Ray Simon, Chancellor of the
New York City Department of Education Joel Klein and New York Library
President Paul LeClerc, all of whom made opening remarks. Also, Rich
Cronin, president and chief executive officer of GSN, Dena Kaplan, senior
vice president of marketing, GSN and John Katzman, chief executive officer
of The Princeton Review, the educational partner of the NVC, participated
in the inaugural contest. Cronin, Kaplan and Katzman along with NVC host
Dylan Lane, star of GSN's game show "Chain Reaction" awarded Marsland with
the trophy and check.
Said Cronin on Marsland's victory: "We're thrilled to congratulate
Robert Marsland on becoming the 2007 National Vocabulary Champion of
America. Robert beat 49 talented finalists and 30,000 total contestants
from across the country so his victory is quite impressive."
Kaplan, who conceptualized the NVC commented: "I couldn't be more
pleased with the educational phenomenon that the NVC has become in one
year. Our main objective in hosting the championship was to assist high
school students in advancing their vocabulary skills. The support we have
received from government officials, school administrators, cable operators
and sponsors has been overwhelming. We couldn't have expected a more
exciting finale and we congratulate Robert Marsland on his win and eagerly
look forward to next year's competition."
Stated Katzman on the finale: "Props to Marsland. We were stoked to see
him win. We want to give a shout out to Robert for being such a vocabulary
master. Whoops, I mean that Robert is an erudite semanticist and we are
awed by his achievement."
The National Vocabulary Championship is a new event on the scholastic
landscape for high school-aged students. The NVC is an educational
initiative conceived by GSN, in partnership with The Princeton Review, to
emphasize the importance of language arts skills and encourage high school
students to enhance their vocabularies.
The 50 NVC finalists in today's event represented 26 states and hailed
from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. Nearly 20% of the
finalists are home-schooled and 62% have participated previously in state
or national level academic competitions.
The students competed in three rounds that tested word comprehension
ability. Eight of the finalists secured their place in the NVC finals
through live citywide vocabulary competitions. The other 42 finalists
qualified through online exams that were offered at the program's website,
http://www.winwithwords.com, and subsequent regional exams administered at The
Princeton Review testing sites around the country.
Marsland, the son of Robert and Diane, would like to attend Princeton
University and study Physics and Philosophy. Besides his love for words,
Marsland's hobbies include music. He plays cello in the Wisconsin Youth
Symphony Orchestra. A fierce competitor, he previously competed in the
Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2003. He will be featured in GSN's
one-hour special based on the NVC airing at 8 PM ET/PT Sunday, April 15.
Lane, host of GSN's original game show "Chain Reaction," moderated the
competition and will host the televised special.
Other winners included Daniel Thorn, 17, of Teaneck, New Jersey who
finished in second place. Thorn's silver finish earned him $2,500 toward a
college savings plan and $2,500 toward The Princeton Review study
materials. In third place, Jack Ausick, 15, of Clyde Park, Montana won $500
toward a college savings plan and $500 toward The Princeton Review
Profiles and photos of the 50 National Vocabulary Championship
finalists and winner, along with more information about the NVC, can be
found at http://www.winwithwords.com.
About the "National Vocabulary Championship"
The National Vocabulary Championship (NVC) is a GSN initiative that
uses competition and wordplay to engage and reward high school students,
educators and parents, teaching them the value of a strong vocabulary.
Created with educational partner The Princeton Review, the NVC is open to
eligible high school students in the 50 states and the District of Columbia
and is promoted in schools and through a national "Win With Words" public
service announcement campaign. In addition, a robust, interactive website
(http://www.winwithwords.com) offers a variety of free vocabulary-enhancing tools,
word games and study materials.
GSN is the entertainment industry leader in multi-platform interactive
game programs. As the premier television network for games, GSN features
challenging word games, high intensity casino programs, live participation
shows, reality series and documentaries. Complementing the network, GSN.com
features all types of game play: innovative Flash games for fun,
skill-based cash game tournaments and downloadable games. The website also
features GSN's two-screen interactive play-along games for prime time
shows. Now reaching more than 62 million homes, GSN is distributed in the
U.S. through all major cable systems and satellite providers. The network
is jointly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Liberty Media
Corporation. For further media information, visit GSN's press website at
About The Princeton Review
The Princeton Review is a pioneer in the world of education. Founded in
1981 and headquartered in New York City, the Company offers private
tutoring and classroom and online test preparation to help students improve
their scores in college and graduate school admissions tests. The Company's
free website, http://www.PrincetonReview.com, helps over half of university-bound
students research, apply to, prepare for, and learn how to pay for their
higher education, and helps hundreds of colleges and universities
streamline their admissions and recruiting activities. In addition, The
Princeton Review works with school districts around the U.S. to measurably
strengthen students' academic skills by connecting ongoing assessment with
professional development and instruction and by providing districts with
college and career resources for both students and guidance counselors. The
Company also authors more than 200 print and software titles on test
preparation, college and graduate school selection and admissions, and