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12 Harvard Affiliates Named Schwarzman Scholars, Marking the University’s Highest Number of Awardees Ever

Twelve Harvard students and alumni were named as Schwarzman Scholars. Harvard produced the most Schwarzman Scholars of any other institution in this year's class of awardees.
Twelve Harvard students and alumni were named as Schwarzman Scholars. Harvard produced the most Schwarzman Scholars of any other institution in this year's class of awardees. By Michael Gritzbach
By S. Mac Healey, Adelaide E. Parker, and Dailan Xu, Crimson Staff Writers

Twelve Harvard students and alumni were selected as Schwarzman Scholars on Wednesday, representing Harvard’s largest cohort since the scholarship’s founding in 2015.

Over the next two years, the awardees will go on to pursue a fully-funded master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, Stephen A. Schwarzman — billionaire CEO and co-founder of the private equity group Blackstone — established the program in 2015 to foster global relationships with China.

Each year, up to 200 scholars are chosen from around the world to study and live at Tsinghua University, China’s top school for business and government. Of the more than 4,000 candidates who applied for this year’s scholarship, 150 were ultimately selected.

Harvard produced the most Schwarzman Scholars of any other institution in this year’s class of awardees. Yale University followed with 10 scholars.

Woojin Lim ’22-’24, a concentrator in Philosophy and Government from Korea, was “just finishing up an essay” when he received notice that he had won.

“I thought it was a spam call at first,” he said. “But when I got a follow-up email, I called back and it was great news.”

Fawwaz Malki Shoukfeh ’24, a History concentrator, also said he was “really surprised” when he learned of his admission to the prestigious scholarship program.

“I couldn’t have imagined that over three years ago, coming from a small town in west Texas that, after college, I’d be all the way across the world in Beijing, China embarking on a journey that I’m really excited about,” he said.

After studying Chinese at Harvard for more than a year, Shoukfeh said he looks forward to expanding upon what he’s already learned and translating that knowledge into real-world action.

“I figured that there would be no better way to improve that actually being immersed in China, trying to learn more about the language, about the culture, about the people, and then trying to come back home to my community and reflect on how what I learned can help me make the changes that I want to make,” Shoukfeh said.

Elliott P. Mokski ’24, who grew up between France, the United States, and Germany, also began learning Chinese at Harvard. In line with his interest in international studies, he has “tried to understand the impact that China is going to have on the world.”

“U.S.-China relations are experiencing, obviously, a tough situation. And I think it’s really important that we have people who are able to understand the U.S. perspective, understand the European perspective — which I’ve done — and then also understand the Chinese perspective,” he said.

Arjun A. Akwei ’24, a Government concentrator, traces his interest in China’s interaction with the world back to high school, when he conducted a project on how the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative impacted sub-Saharan African countries.

“There is no world in which the United States alone can build a more successful and prosperous international future. It’s something that’s going to require working hand-in-hand with the other leading powers of the age, and high on that list is China,” he said.

“I think, right now, there aren’t enough people who are looking at how the U.S. and China can work together rather than how the United States can prepare for competition with China. And I hope to be one such leader who is building that path for cooperation,” Akwei added.

—Staff writer Adelaide E. Parker can be reached at adelaide.parker@thecrimson.com. Follow her on X @adelaide_prkr.

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