The Appreciated and Unintended Consequence of Scholarship
Dec 2, 2013 11:00 AM
Scholarships make the world go around.
At the University and in our centers of learning and education, we treasure the ability to share knowledge, cultivate minds, inspire new ideas, and learn from one another. In our world, one of the most rewarding gifts we can give is scholarship. Scholarship represents the gift of education, the gift of learning, and the gift of profession. We hope, when bestowing these gifts, that they also begin a trajectory toward a satisfying career.
Sometimes those gifts begin even more.During my senior year in college, as I was preparing my medical school applications, my faculty advisors asked if I would be interested in applying for a scholarship that would enable me to study at Oxford University in England. A very wealthy diamond mogul—one who tempered the controversy of his life with a legacy of scholarship, thus equating his name with both excellence and prestige—had made this scholarship possible.
Politics aside, I was fortunate to be awarded that scholarship and not long after was off to graduate school in biomedical engineering. It was a field that I had always been interested in but (being pre-med and all) did not have the luxury of studying in depth. I really loved the opportunity to dive into the field, to learn some of the math I’d always wanted to learn and to work with some truly brilliant minds. Much of what I learned and experienced in the U.K. remains with me: in my MRI research, in my overall worldview and in my lifelong friendships.
Marilyn Monroe sang, “Diamonds are a girls best friend.” And while I could not disagree with her more—on so many levels—there were some very unexpected and likely unintended benefits of my diamond scholarship. In the apartment one floor above mine, lived a young man. He had arrived at Oxford from New Zealand on the same scholarship, to study International Relations and International Law. To make a long story short, we met, a romance blossomed and now we have a happy family here in Utah. I suppose it goes without saying that our family is enormously grateful to said diamond mogul for making our education and our own lives together possible.
On behalf of all of us whose lives are more rich because of scholarship—to all of you who have made these dreams and the dreams we couldn’t have imagined, possible: thank you, thank you, thank you.
I welcome your own personal stories of how scholarship has made a difference in your lives. Please feel free to share your stories here.
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