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January 11, 2001

Pitt student awarded Marshall Scholarship

The British Embassy has named Pitt senior Andrew K. Petiprin as one of 40 Marshall Scholars nationwide for 2001.

Considered to be one of the most competitive and prestigious merit scholarships in America, the Marshall Scholarship was created by the British Parliament in honor of General George Marshall as a gesture of thanks for U.S. assistance in the aftermath of World War II.

Like the Rhodes Scholarship, the Marshall emphasizes character as well as intellect. But while a Rhodes Scholarship restricts study to Oxford University, a Marshall guarantees access and funding at any British university for two years of study toward a degree.

Pitt is the only public institution in Pennsylvania represented among the Marshall winners this year. The University of Pennsylvania is the only other school in this state with a Marshall scholar this year.

Only Harvard (with five Marshalls) and Brown (two) had more than one Marshall scholar this year.

During the last 15 years, Pitt students have won more Marshalls (six) and Rhodes Scholarships (three) than any other Pennsylvania college or university, private or public.

Fluent in French and German, Petiprin has earned a 3.9 GPA while majoring in French and history, with a minor in German and classics.

In his hometown of Orlando, Fla., he has helped to feed the homeless and has tutored undergraduates and high school students. Petiprin also is active with Pittsburgh's Sixth Presbyterian Church.

"Andrew is the ideal Marshall Scholar," said Alec Stewart, dean of the University Honors College and Pitt's Marshall representative. "He is a socially committed intellectual whose talent is informed by unbounded curiosity and a deep desire to help others."

It is said that nobody wins a Marshall or Rhodes scholarship single-handedly, a statement with which Petiprin readily agreed.

He credited three faculty members in particular for inspiring and encouraging him: Renate Kosinski, of the French and Italian languages and literatures department; and history department professors Janelle Greenberg and Bruce Venarde.

"The Honors College was extremely helpful throughout this process," Petiprin said. "Dean Stewart was very encouraging. The confidence he expressed in me was one of the main reasons I applied at all" for a Marshall Scholarship.

In addition, Assistant to the Dean Karen Billingsley "helped a lot with logistics," Petiprin said. "For example, she arranged for getting me to my interviews [with Marshall Scholarship officials] in Atlanta."

Petiprin will use his Marshall award to study for a M.Phil. in European literature at Oxford.

— Bruce Steele

Filed under: Feature,Volume 33 Issue 9

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