Feature Stories Campus Events All Stories

Thomas deBuchananne ’27 Awarded CIE Arabic Summer Scholarship Washington and Lee’s Center for International Education awarded deBuchananne funding to study Arabic at the University of Jordan this summer.

Thomas-deBuchananne-scaled-600x400 Thomas deBuchananne ’27 Awarded CIE Arabic Summer ScholarshipThomas deBuchananne ‘27

Washington and Lee University has announced that Thomas deBuchananne ’27 has been awarded the 2024 Arabic Summer Scholarship from the Center for International Education.

The scholarship, supported by the Rusty ’86 and Rene Johnson Endowment for Experiences Abroad, will allow deBuchananne to attend a program called CET Jordan at the University of Jordan in Amman. CET is an established program that offers an intensive, nine-week language study paired with cultural immersion. deBuchananne will study both Modern Standard Arabic and Jordanian every day, and he will have the opportunity to take excursions to places such as Wadi Rum, Petra and Jerash. The CET program begins on June 2, 2024, and runs through Aug. 2, 2024.

“Receiving this scholarship opens so many doors for opportunities to not only learn Arabic, but also to continue learning throughout college and my career,” said deBuchananne. “Studying in an immersive environment is unparalleled for learning the language and culture, and by having this experience now I will be ready to continue studying abroad in the future.”

A native of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, deBuchananne began his study of Arabic even before arriving at W&L. His interest primarily stems from his family history, which included his great-grandfather’s service in the French Foreign Legion and his grandfather’s study of the language while living in Saudi Arabia.

“I am fascinated by the culture and politics in the region, which inspired me to start learning the language,” he said. “Studying abroad this summer will shape my college experience towards learning as much Arabic as possible. Undoubtedly, this will make me a stronger person, give me more diverse perspectives, and set me up for a lifetime of language learning.”

By completing the CET program this summer, deBuchananne would enter his sophomore year as a third-year in Arabic studies, allowing him to take as many classes as possible – far beyond the requirements for a minor in the Middle East and South Asia (MESA) program.

“I can’t think of a more qualified student to receive the 2024 CIE Arabic Summer Scholarship,” said Anthony Edwards, associate professor of Arabic. “Thomas is a hardworking and exceptionally bright student with an unbridled passion for the Arabic language. I am constantly impressed by his attention to detail and sharp memory. I look forward to hearing about his linguistic gains and experiences in Amman.”

Arabic is one of a few languages the U.S. State Department categorizes as exceptionally difficult for native English speakers. deBuchananne plans to incorporate the language in whichever field he chooses. He currently anticipates majoring in economics and global politics at W&L.

If you know a W&L student who has done great, accolade-worthy things, tell us about them! Nominate them for an accolade.