Photo: Rami Blair at the podium during a debate at Bates College.
In today’s world, if you can’t find it, you Google it. That’s how Rami Blair, a sophomore French major from Bangor, Maine, found his way to Morehouse College.
In just two years, Blair’s academic career has taken off. He recently received the prestigious Luard Morse Scholarship, a $25,000 award that will fund a semester of study at an English university during his junior year. Blair is Morehouse’s 12th Luard Morse Scholar and its first since 2006.
Blair’s experience in England will give him the opportunity to do research that will propel him toward his goal to one day teach French literature at a liberal arts college.
Growing up in Maine as a Jamaican-Caucasian American, Blair knew coming out of high school that he wanted to experience something new. At Morehouse, he has found activities that interest him, from the College’s award-winning debate team to the Bonner Scholars Program, which focuses on community service.
“What I learned when I arrived at Morehouse is that I had the freedom to do what I wanted to do and be who I wanted to be,” he says. “From the classroom, to debate to community service, it’s all been my choice.”
The honors student has traveled to Panama to present at the International Conference on Caribbean Literature and to India for debate. Last year, he and his partner were the 2013 Pi Kappa Delta Novice Parliamentary Debate champions. In February 2014, he was a quarter finalist at the Pan American Universities Debating Championship.
Blair thinks that any college experience is what one makes it, but that there is something special about what happens at Morehouse.
“We have some of the best faculty in the world. We have professors who truly care,” he says, noting that “it’s not enough to just come to Morehouse and do well in the classroom. You have to do community service. You have to take advantage of academic conferences and opportunities to do research. You have to be engaged and get involved.”
As for what’s next: after his fall 2014 semester in England, Blair hopes to study abroad in France during the spring. And he is not stopping there. He plans to apply for the Truman Scholarship, the Fulbright Scholarship and either the Marshall or the Rhodes Scholarships – all in preparation for graduate school and the chance to do primary research.
Because from Morehouse he will be able to go anywhere.