Washington College today announced the first recipient of the Jacob Marberger ’18 Endowed Memorial Fellowship, an annual award to a student who exhibits the same love of learning and deep intellectual curiosity that characterized the fellowship’s namesake.
Daniel Schaefer ’20, was awarded the fellowship at a gathering and tree planting ceremony commemorating Jacob Marberger ’18, who died last year. Schaefer, who plans to major in Hispanic studies and philosophy, and minor in French studies and religious studies, is the president of the freshman class and a member of the Student Government Association, where he hopes to work towards a stronger sense of community and greater inclusivity of all students at Washington College.
“We remember Jacob Marberger as a brilliant, funny, inquisitive young man, wise beyond his years,” said President Sheila Bair. “We are grateful to have had Jacob in our lives, even if for too brief a time. And we are grateful to Jacob’s parents for joining us today as we launch this new scholarship to recognize students who emulate Jacob’s love of learning and his commitment to building a more peaceful world.”
The endowed fellowship, administered by the director of the Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture, will fund $2,500 for an independent research project that will provide insight and analysis on contemporary political and cultural issues, with a focus on peace building and mutual understanding among nations. Schafer plans to participate in the institute’s Oxford summer seminar in June 2017 to study the intermingling of the powerful forces of philosophy, religion, and politics in society. He will also research how college campuses can mitigate and prevent conflict, specifically by analyzing the relationship between anti-bullying initiatives, “safe spaces,” public perception, and outcomes for anti-conflict programs.
After the fellowship was announced, faculty, staff, and students watched as a purple European beech tree was planted on campus in honor of Jacob. Known for its lofty height and elegance, the tree’s branches, when grown, carry leaves of purple-green and sweep gracefully to the ground.