The Columns

W&L Alumnus Matthew Loar Wins CIC Fellowship

— by on May 13th, 2009

Matthew Loar, a 2007 graduate of Washington and Lee University, has been named the winner of an American Graduate Fellowship from the Council of Independent Colleges.

Loar will receive an award of $50,000 for a year of graduate study, renewable for a second year. He has accepted an offer to study classics at Stanford University.

The American Graduate Fellowships (AGF) program, now in its third year, is designed to promote and support advanced study in the humanities by talented graduates of small and mid-sized, private liberal arts colleges and universities. Two AGF Fellows were selected in a competition that included candidates from 31 colleges and universities.

Fellowships may be used to support doctoral study at any of 23 leading private research institutions in the U.S., Great Britain, and Ireland. The eligible fields of graduate study include history, philosophy, literature and languages, and fine arts. 
A summa cum laude graduate from W&L where he majored in classics, Loar has subsequently completed post-baccalaureate studies in Greek and Latin at the University of Pennsylvania in preparation for his pursuit of a PhD in classics. He is currently completing a master’s degree in women’s studies at the University of Oxford.

Loar is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the Beinecke Fellowship for Graduate Studies in 2006. While in graduate school at Stanford, Loar plans to study gender and sexuality in ancient literature.

“Matthew was truly one of the most outstanding students I have encountered in my ten years of teaching.  He combines enthusiasm for his subject matter with meticulous preparation and real technical mastery of Greek and Latin,” said Kevin Crotty, professor of classics at W&L. “Matthew possesses ‘teacherly generosity’—that is, he delights not only in mastering a topic, but in sharing it with others. He will one day be an inspiring teacher, able not only to offer sound instruction in the Classics, but to move students to better, more dedicated lives.”

The American Graduate Fellowships support the graduate education of a few stellar graduates of small colleges and also advance two larger purposes: encouraging the best students at small and mid-sized independent colleges to apply for Ph.D. work in the humanities at top-tier private research institutions and raising awareness at leading graduate schools that small colleges are a rich source of future doctoral students. The Fellowships, funded by a generous grant from the Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation in Wichita Falls, Texas, draws attention to the best graduates of small liberal arts colleges who possess the education and ability to excel in the doctoral programs that train tomorrow’s leading scholars.