Ten new recipients of prestigious Brown Fellows award prepare for Centre
June 2, 2011 By Leigh Cocanougher
April for final interviews with Bob Nesmith (above, far right) and
other members of the selection committee.
The new Brown Fellows will take their first international trip this
summer, visiting Rome, Naples, Florence and Venice.
This summer will be an exciting one for the 10 new Centre College Brown Fellows. Already overjoyed at having been named recipients of Kentucky’s most prestigious fellowship, the students are thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Rome, Naples, Florence and Venice during a tour of Italy.
The opportunity to participate in four international trips is but one of the many benefits of the Brown Fellows Program. The program covers each student’s full tuition, room and board, four summer enrichment programs, on-campus program mentors, field-based experimental learning opportunities and more. It was launched in 2009 by the James Graham Brown Foundation, which selected Centre as the private institution, along with the University of Louisville as the public campus, as the hosts of the program.
Third year underway
As the program’s third year begins, Mason B. Rummel, president of the James Graham Brown Foundation, says, “What has been the most exciting so far is the variety of opportunities the students have pursued. From events such as the lecture and lunch with Dr. James Watson and social gatherings such as Thunder Over Louisville to trips to New York, Italy, Panama and Vietnam, the enthusiasm of the students to engage in new experiences is gratifying.”
She adds that “perhaps the most significant indicator, however, is the sophistication and creativity of their enrichment projects. Success is evident when students design projects involving world-wide volunteerism, research, international immersion programs and human services across the world and in the U.S. This is the kind of excellence we are seeking.”
Each year, 10 incoming first-year Centre students are named Brown Fellows. Those making up the Brown Fellows class of 2015:
Albert Anastasio of Champaign, Illinois;
Jessica Cruzan of Shreveport, Louisiana;
Preston Davis of Sarasota, Florida;
Ashley El Rady of Louisville, Kentucky;
Jonathan Hunt of Louisville, Kentucky;
Sara Loy of Richmond, Kentucky;
Daniel Miller of Evansville, Indiana;
David Newton of Prospect, Kentucky;
Joshua Rieskamp of Cincinnati, Ohio;
Anna Roland of Nashville, Tennessee.
El Rady, who visited schools all across the country in her college search, says she chose Centre because she “never found a school that gave me the personal attention that Centre did. Every time I stepped on campus, I made connections with people, and I’ve already formed relationships with students, faculty members and coaches. I feel like the people at Centre want me to be there.”
Davis agrees. “Centre has all the benefits of a liberal arts education: small classes, an in-depth education and a tight knit community. However, the heart of my decision was inspired by how comfortable I felt spending time at Centre on overnight visits and during the Brown Fellows Weekend.”
The College’s outstanding reputation in college guide sources and online rankings inspired Newton to apply. “Centre seemed to be a perfect fit in terms of various standardized scores, student personalities and style of education,” he says.
Loy’s connection to Centre came through her great-uncle, who worked at the College. “When we'd visit him, Danville seemed like such a quintessential college town,” she says. “It always looked so cozy and supportive of its school, and it is! Centre is one of the one of the best schools in the state and country and a close-knit liberal arts college, two things I really wanted.”
She also says she was “completely bewitched by Centre’s study-abroad program. I’ve always wanted to study abroad, something Centre supports totally. It’s a great match for me all-around.”
No particular aspect of the College inspired Miller to apply; instead, he says, “it was a combination of, well, everything. As I researched and visited the school, it became clear to me that Centre matched me perfectly, far beyond what anybody has a right to expect. This was due in part to factors such as academics and extracurricular opportunities, but it was more than that, too. Suffice it to say that by the time I applied, I already knew I would be on campus as a member of the Class of 2015, come hell or high water.”
Having witnessed the “community feel” at Centre since she was young, Loy is looking forward to joining that community. “I went to the Governor’s Scholars Program at Centre this past summer, which gave me a great taste of college life and what it meant to really connect with the students and faculty around me,” she says. “When I visited Centre for the Brown Fellows Weekend, I got the same vibe. Plus, everyone here is so crazily enthusiastic about their interests and their school, it’s infectious!”
Miller says he is thrilled by “the fact that, four years from now, it’s likely that my favorite Centre experience will have been something that I can’t even guess at now. The range and breadth of opportunities Centre—and the Brown Fellowship—seem to provide are so incredible it’s almost breathtaking to an 18-year-old.”
Building strong relationships with professors and classmates is what El Rady looks forward to most. “I love learning,” she says, “and I know the people at Centre will challenge me. I’m also looking forward to the unique opportunities that Centre offers, such as CentreTerm and wonderful service and study abroad programs.”
Newton is eager to “develop the tools necessary to eventually make a difference in the world. With Centre’s academics and the Brown Foundation’s monetary compensation for summer projects, I’m confident that I’ll be able to do just about anything I can imagine.”
“The chance to participate in an environment where knowledge and learning are cultivated and celebrated,” Davis says, are what he is eagerly awaiting.
With so much to look forward to, all 10 of the 2015 Brown Fellows agree with Newton when he says he “can’t wait to see where Centre takes me!”