From the Publisher: Apr 17 1989

Do you worry that the U.S. has lost sight of excellence? We at TIME think we know where to find it. Over the past six months, as part of our College Achievement Awards program, we searched out 20 of America's outstanding undergraduate juniors. Together with the program's exclusive sponsor, Volkswagen United States, we sought to recognize and reward young men and women who have pursued their talents to the limit.

Last week we brought the award winners together in New York City. We were astounded and somewhat awed by their accomplishments. For instance, all of 21 years old, Jennifer Spruill is...

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