Columbia College Student Samuel Daly Wins 2009 Marshall Scholarship

Dec. 18, 2008Bookmark and Share

Samuel Daly (CC'09), a Columbia undergraduate majoring in history and African studies, has been awarded a 2009 Marshall Scholarship, a prestigious honor that allows American students to pursue a graduate degree in the United Kingdom. Daly, who will continue his studies at the University of Oxford next fall, is one of 40 scholars from across the country to be selected this year.
Marshall Scholar Samuel Daly in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Marshall Scholar Samuel Daly in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Image credit: Samuel Daly

"I feel great," Daly said. "I still kind of can't believe that I got it, but I'm happy that I did."
According to Michael Pippenger, associate dean of Columbia College's Fellowship and Study Abroad Programs, the Marshall Scholarship "goes to outstanding scholars who will transform their area of expertise." Daly was a logical choice for the scholarship, Pippenger says, because "he challenged himself to gain a real depth of knowledge about his discipline and plans to use that knowledge for public service."
Daly's studies at Columbia have focused on African history and languages, specifically Swahili and Yoruba. At Oxford he will pursue a master's degree in history, followed by a master's degree in African studies. "I think the main reason I was selected is that the committee realized how important the study of Africa is today," Daly said. "I am lucky enough to be studying the right thing at the right time."
The Marshall Scholarships were founded in 1953 by an Act of Parliament to encourage a cross-cultural exchange of knowledge between the United States and the United Kingdom. There were 16 applicants to the scholarship this year from Columbia College, including four finalists. This is the third year in a row that a Columbia student has been named a Marshall Scholar.
Pippenger says Daly, who grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "has been an ambassador of Columbia on a number of other fellowships." During his undergraduate studies, Daly spent a semester at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and another semester at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, as well as a summer at Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. He has also given international conference papers in Germany and Nigeria. "He has spent the last three and a half years at Columbia representing the kind of liberal arts education we pride ourselves on providing our students," said Pippenger.
At Oxford, Daly will join another Columbia College student, Jisung Park, who was recently named a 2009 Rhodes Scholar. Daly plans to study the development of a vigilante justice movement called Sungusungu ("black ants" in Swahili), which began in northwestern Tanzania in the 1980s and presently plays an important role in Tanzania's justice system.
"An American going to the U.K. to study Tanzanian history may seem like a stretch," Daly said, "but I think Oxford is the best possible place for me to study at this point... The U.K.'s position as a former colonial power means that there are a lot of exciting resources for African history there, and it remains a meeting point for scholars from all over Africa and the rest of the world who are interested in the same things that I am."
After Oxford, Daly hopes to work for the State Department or the Department of Defense for a few years before returning to graduate school for a Ph.D. in African history. "My ultimate goal is to teach history," he said, "hopefully at someplace like Columbia."

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