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Pasquale Toscano Awarded Beinecke Scholarship for Graduate Study

Pasquale S. Toscano, of Kettering, Ohio, an English and classics double major at Washington and Lee University, has been awarded a Beinecke Scholarship for graduate study.

Toscano was among 20 students chosen to be a 2016 Beinecke Scholar. Since 1975, more than 570 college juniors from more than 100 undergraduate institutions have been chosen for graduate study support.

Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school. Toscano plans on pursuing a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in contemporary American literature.

“Paqui will take his future graduate program by storm,” said Genelle Gertz, associate professor of English at W&L. “He writes beautifully and prolifically; his thesis makes an important contribution to the field of contemporary American literature, drawing from archival and theoretical methods to show the importance of neo-regionalism in Marilynne Robinson’s renowned trilogy. His many writing awards, in addition to a recent journal article submission, indicate a rich publication future.”

“Paqui is part of what makes W&L so special,” said Rebecca Benefiel, associate professor of Classics at W&L. “He serves the student body and the university in myriad capacities, and he is a remarkable presence in the classroom, elevating discussion with thought-provoking points and drawing in other students to participate. I’m delighted Paqui received the Beinecke because he is primed for graduate study.”

Toscano is chairman of the Student Judicial Council; a member of the Student Affairs Committee; a Latin and English peer tutor; was a Steering Committee member and Platform chair for the 2016 Mock Convention; and gave campus tours as a member of the Student Recruitment Committee. He also was a member of the University Wind Ensemble.

A Johnson Scholar, Toscano also is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma and Eta Sigma Phi classics honor society; was awarded the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, the Edward L. Pinney Prize, the G. Holbrook Barber Scholarship Award and the Matthew J. Mason Latin Prize. He also won the Elizabeth B. Garrett Scholarship in English, the Dabney Stuart Prize in English and the Sidney Coulling Prize in English.

“My professors at W&L have impressed upon me the inspiring and energizing potential of literature, which has brought me peace in moments of turbulence and joy in moments of success,” said Toscano. “I am very thankful for the village that went into making this scholarship application and award possible, and I look forward to representing W&L in the future, wherever I end up attending graduate school.”

Established in 1971, the Beinecke Scholarship Program created an endowment to provide scholarships for the graduate education of students of unusual promise. The program encourages their pursuit of opportunities available in the study of the arts, humanities and social sciences.