Granville student awarded Watson Fellowship

Bates College senior Marian Elizabeth Drake of Granville, Ohio, is one of 60 students nationwide recently selected to receive a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship.

The $22,000 award will support a year of travel and research in Senegal and Romania, where Drake will study how political and social change has affected artistic production and funding for the fine arts.

The Thomas J. Watson Foundation this year considered 185 candidates nominated by 49 private, liberal arts colleges noted for their quality and commitment to undergraduate education.

Bates history professor Dennis Grafflin, the Thomas J. Watson liaison officer for Bates and the chair of the college’s Watson Committee, said that the fellowship program, now in its 31st year, “is unique in its concern for giving recent college graduates an opportunity to develop an interest anywhere else in the world, outside the framework of academic or occupational responsibilities. It is the most long-term sort of investment in human capital, seeking to expand its fellows’ sense of their own capacities as people who will lead and change the world.”

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program seeks to recognize individuals who demonstrate integrity, strong ethical character, intelligence, the capacity for vision and leadership and potential for humane and effective participation in the world community.

Drake, an art history and French double major at Bates, has written her senior honors thesis on “Jacques de la Villegle’s Affiches Lacerees: (Recomposing) Shreds of Consumerism, Primitivism and Popular Culture in mid 20th Century France.” A member of the Bates concert choir and the chamber singers, Drake performed works by Bach, Mozart and Faure for her senior voice recital and was soprano soloist in a spring performance of Mozart’s “Requiem.”

During her junior year abroad, Drake studied French in Tours, France, and art history at Parisian universities. The summer after her junior year abroad, Drake returned to Lewiston, where she served as a marketing and public relations intern with the United Way of Androscoggin County in Bates’ Ladd Internship program. She received the college’s Charles A. Dana Scholar Award in 1996 for leadership and academic excellence.

Drake, the daughter of Robert and Nancy Drake of Granville, is a 1995 graduate of Granville High School.

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