Two Harvard seniors will be spending next year at Cambridge University in England as this year's winners of the Lt. Charles Henry Fiske III Scholarship and Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholarship.
Cabot House resident Mark Loughridge '88 and Eliot House resident Leigh M. Weiss '88 were chosen from a field of 93 original applicants by a group of former winners of the scholarships. As the Fiske winner, Loughridge will spend the year at Trinity College, Cambridge. Weiss will attend Cambridge's Emmanuel College.
The scholarships, which are both administered by a Harvard Alumni Association committee, will each amount to approximately $18,000 this year to cover full tuition at Cambridge, room and board, travel, and vacation expenses.
Both the Fiske and the Harvard scholarships were started after World war I in memory of two Harvard students who were killed in the war, and except during World War II, have been awarded every year since then.
Unlike the Marshall scholarship, neither the Fiske nor the Harvard scholarship require applicants to have minimum grade point averages. The possession of "ambassadorial qualities" is important, as are the quality of the student's three-page essay and letters of recommendation, said selection committee member Robert N. Shapiro '72.
Recipients of these scholarships are encouraged to read in their area of interest, but not to pursue a degree program. "They don't want your studies to interfere with your having fun," explained Loughbridge. In addition, scholarship winners are encouraged to travel around Europe during Cambridge's extensive vacations.
Loughridge, a concentrator in East Asian Studies who is writing his thesis on Japanese folk religions, plans to continue to pursue this field at Trinity. He spent last year in Japan studying its art and taking pictures, and is thinking of doing a photo essay on Cambridge University.
Loughridge said he was "very, very psyched" about spending a year in England. "When they called and asked 'Would you like to go to Cambridge,' I screamed into the phone," he said.
Weiss was expecting a phone call, but instead was surprised by a knock on her door as a delegation of 8 members of the 18 member selection committee came to personally congratulate her.
A Sociology concentrator and the captain of the Radcliffe crew team, Weiss has spent two summers as a coxswain for the U.S. National women's crew team.
"I'm still undecided about what I'll study," said Weiss. "I am interested in modern European social history. I'm mainly looking forward to the opportunity to explore over there." During her vacations, Weiss would like to hike and cycle around Great Britain and France and to travel in India and the Middle East, she said.