Seniors win Marshall Scholarships
By Eric Quiñones
Princeton NJ -- Princeton seniors Patrick Cunningham and Joshua Geltzer have been awarded 2005 Marshall Scholarships, which cover the cost of living and studying at a British university of the recipient's choice for two or three years.
Cunningham, an English major who has won numerous creative writing awards, will use his Marshall Scholarship to obtain a master's degree in English literature at Oxford University. Geltzer, who is concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, will choose a university at which to pursue a master's degree in international relations. Geltzer shared this year's Class of 1939 Princeton Scholar Award, recognizing the student with the highest academic standing at the end of junior year.
The Marshall Scholarships were established in 1953 as a British gesture to the United States for the assistance received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. The scholarships are awarded to American students who have demonstrated academic excellence and leadership potential.
Cunningham, who is from Stow, Ohio, will focus on English literature of the 19th century while at Oxford, with special emphasis on the dramatic work of the Aesthetic movement. ''My plans include serious readings of Oscar Wilde, Ronald Firbank, Max Beerbohm and Evelyn Waugh,'' he said. ''I want to find out how sophisticated humor 'works' as literary and cultural phenomena. What makes some jokes funny and others socially influential?''
Cunningham won the Program in Creative Writing's award for outstanding writing in each of his first three years at Princeton and also received an A. Scott Berg '71 Scholarship from the English department. He is writing a short novel for his senior thesis.
Cunningham is editor-in-chief of Tiger Magazine and an editor of the Nassau Weekly magazine, as well as a member of the Princeton Undergraduate Honor Committee. A stand-up comedian who regularly performs in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, he is the treasurer and a founding officer of the Princeton University Stand-up Comedy Club. Cunningham also serves as vice president and creative director of a software design firm.
''Patrick is the ideal Marshall Scholar,'' said Neil Rudenstine, the former Harvard University president and Princeton provost, who now teaches part time at Princeton. ''He's intellectually brilliant, but he's also adventurous and imaginative. Stand-up comedy routines, the writing of fiction, service on the Honor Committee and any number of other things absorb him. He's a fine example of high intelligence, inventiveness and deep immersion in everything that he takes on.''
''A brilliant writer and stand-up comedian, Patrick possesses a sparkling intellect and displays a gravitas and depth of insight that serves to highlight his performances,'' said Nigel Patterson, the Marshall Scholarship assistant with the British Consulate-General of Chicago.
Geltzer, a New York City native, has twice received the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence and was awarded the Haarlow Prize for the Best Paper in Humanistic Studies. His primary interest is in transatlantic relations, and he plans to work on issues of transatlantic communication, signaling, perception and misperception for his senior thesis.
With his Marshall Scholarship, Geltzer said he plans to ''examine issues on which America and Europe have diverged, such as how to deal with Iraq, Iran or North Korea, and to scour diplomatic records and histories to unearth the communicative difficulties that contributed to that divergence.''
Geltzer serves as an officer of the Law and Public Affairs Forum and as a junior fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He is treasurer of the Ivy Club, president of the Student Bioethics Forum and co-editor-in-chief of the Princeton Journal of Bioethics. He also has played lead guitar in a popular campus band, coached in a youth basketball league and participated on the University's club baseball team.
''Josh Geltzer is one of those delightful students who combines academic rigor with a broad-ranging and genuine intellectual curiosity,'' said Princeton Provost Christopher Eisgruber, former director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs. ''He has taken demanding courses from all corners of the University curriculum, and he has thrived in each of them. I am pleased, but certainly not surprised, that he has received a Marshall Scholarship.''
''Josh Geltzer is an outstanding student of international relations who will bring energy, exceptional intelligence and unusual insight to the study of the transatlantic relationship,'' said John Jay Iselin, chair of the New York selection committee for the Marshall Scholarships. ''In time, we believe he will make an important contribution to strengthening America's relations with its European allies.''