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College grooms students for prestigious scholarships

By monét cooper

Ignoring the grapes, chicken strips, peach punch and other delectable items at a recent luncheon, 36 students patiently sat in the African American Hall of
Fame listening to Gillian Cooper, programme officer for the Marshall Scholarship, give a presentation about what the decision committee is looking for in a student and his application.

Do your best.
Clearly describe what you’d like to study if accepted and why.
But above all, be honest.

“Tell about the things you’ve done, but please tell the truth,” she quips in a British accent. “If you haven’t played football, don’t write that you have. I guarantee you, someone will ask you a question about it in the interview.”

Some students laugh, others look intently as Cooper continues her speech, which covers everything from studying about the United Kingdom (a requirement) to knowing the annually changing focus of the program (this year its Africa).

After the presentation, Anne Watts, associate vice president for Acadmeic Affairs, invites the students to talk further with Cooper about the Marshall.

Watts is over the selection and interview process at Morehouse for students who are submitting applications to national competitions for the Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall and Luard scholarships. Most of these scholarships require a 3.7 or greater grade point average, involvement in school and community activities and a direct nomination from the applicant’s college or university.

To date, Morehouse has sent three Rhodes Scholars and 10 Luard Scholars to the United Kingdom.

Edward Smith-Lewis ’07, an economics major, is excited about the prospect of international study.

“When you leave the United States,” said Smith-Lewis, “everything is more global and I’d like to see that. I’m more motivated by seeing all my peers here. When they say they want to do it, it encourages me, too.”

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