BU Alumni Web

CAS Alum Bags a Marshall Scholarship

First BU recipient of British grant in three years

| From BU Today | By Amy Sutherland

Katherine French (CAS’11, GRS’11) will study archaeology at Oxford. Photo by Flickr user bez_uk

Katherine French is acquiring lots of pounds, and she couldn’t be happier.

French (CAS’11, GRS’11) recently won a Marshall Scholarship, the first BU alum to net the competitive award for study in Britain since 2008. The scholarships pay up to £23,000 a year, roughly $37,000, typically for two years of study at a British university. They go to Americans with stellar records from their undergraduate universities, and no more than 40 a year are handed out. French will use her scholarship to study for a master’s in archaeology at Oxford.

At BU, French earned a bachelor’s in archaeology and a bachelor’s and a master’s in religion. Oxford will afford her the chance to study the archaeology of northern Europe circa A.D. 400-800, “an area of study not often found in the United States,” she says.

“Studying at Oxford will provide me with the opportunity to take a more hands-on approach to the archaeology of this period by working with the early medieval collections” at the university. She’ll also participate in Oxford’s excavations of Roman and post-Roman settlements at Dorchester-on-Thames. French says her time abroad will prepare her for future doctoral study and a career as an archaeologist.

French plans to work with the early medieval collections at the university.

Currently living in Danvers, Mass., and working as an intern at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, French says the scholarship also will further her goal of promoting archaeology and museums as incubators of critical thinking and appreciation of different cultures. She plans to work on outreach programs at Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum, which houses the university’s archaeological and anthropological collections.

The Marshall Scholarships were established by the British Parliament in 1953 to commemorate and offer gratitude for the Marshall Plan, the U.S. aid that helped Europe rebuild after the destruction of World War II. Previous Marshall scholars include Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer (Hon.’95), Washington Post columnist and Pulitzer winner Anne Applebaum, former Arizona governor and secretary of the interior Bruce Babbitt, and Nobel Prize winner Roger Y. Tsien. BU’s Viktorya Vilk (CAS’07) was the last University graduate to receive one of the scholarships. Recipients must have graduated from their schools with at least a 3.7 grade point average. The scholarships cover school fees, living expenses, fare to and from the United States, and book, research, and daily travel costs.

French begins her studies next fall.

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