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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

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Williams wins Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship

Robin Williams, a 2004 graduate who has spent the past year on a public service fellowship sponsored by Princeton alumni, has been awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship. The scholarships provide each winner with up to $300,000 for the length of their graduate or professional degree programs.

Williams was one of 76 winners of the Cooke scholarships, selected from 1,290 applicants from more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide. He plans to pursue a medical degree and a master's degree in public health at the University of Pennsylvania.

Williams, who is from Greensboro, N.C., majored in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and was involved in a variety of activities in the fields of public health and minority rights while at Princeton.

He was a member of the Student Global AIDS Campaign, the Princeton Justice Project, the Student Volunteers Council and Community Action, as well as moderator with Sustained Dialogue, which provides a forum to discuss race relations on campus. He also worked in Ghana as an AIDS educator.

Williams was awarded a 2004 ReachOut 56 Fellowship, an award created by Princeton's class of 1956 to allow students to perform yearlong public service projects after graduation. For his ReachOut project, titled "Unacceptable Losses," Williams visited drug reform agencies and community-based organizations around the country and developed a series of photo essays, with the goal of promoting the treatment of substance abuse as a health problem rather than a criminal activity.

Williams said his career goal is to combine his medical training with his organizing skills "to bring together individuals foreign to one another for the purposes of building community and achieving progress."

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of former Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.

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