Outstanding Alumni: Matthew Luebke


Grace Luebke, Reporter

A Briar Woods Alumni took the stage at his college graduation to convey an important message.

Matthew Luebke graduated high school in 2018. After graduating, he attended Cornell University to major in Human Development with a minor in Gerontology and Nutrition. His time at Briar was spent being top of his class and a star on the football field. Luebke continued his athletic and academic excellence at an Ivy League, playing sprint football and partaking in various research projects.

This year, he was awarded the 2022 HEAA Outstanding Senior Award within the College of Human Ecology. With this great honor came the opportunity to make a speech at his graduation ceremony weeks later. In his speech, Luebke shed light on some of the current events sweeping our nation and the world such as shootings and global warming. “I felt a strong need to mention the Uvalde shooting in my graduation speech because I believe the responsibility is on all of us to have these discussions that dictate the future of our nation.” He then touched on how taking the opportunity to talk about the victims who were robbed of their lives in an educational institution was fitting for the occasion: “I felt it would’ve been hypocritical to feel so strongly about an issue and not speak on it when given the platform, freedom, and opportunity.”

Luebke’s four years at Cornell have truly broadened his life experiences and perspectives. He was able to interact with other students, faculty, and locals from all walks of life. “The conversations I’ve had helped me understand the diversity that exists within our country and the differences in opportunity that are present,” he explained. Cornell has provided him a “deeper understanding” of issues such as systemic racism, mass shootings, and the lack of support for the gay rights movement.

After graduation, Luebke will further his studies at Hackensack Meridian Medical School in New Jersey. He plans to continue researching the care of older adults and helping to create an equitable healthcare system. “Specifically, I want to relive the physical and financial burden placed upon caregivers.”

Looking back on his high school years, he thanks Briar Woods clubs and service organizations, such as PEER and Key Club, for kick-starting his drive to better the experiences of others and speak up for the purposes in which he is passionate.