Kirk Greer takes College's third 1998 Mellon Fellowship

K irk A. Greer '98, who was originally a first alternate, won a Mellon Fellowship this summer when one of the recipients named this spring declined the award. A Kenyon Honor Scholar, Greer graduated summa cum laude with majors in political science and economics, winning highest honors in political science and distinction on his senior exercises in both majors. He will study political philosophy and American politics at the University of Chicago.

Greer's award brings the College's Mellon recipients to three for 1998. Chandra D. Bhimull '98 and Laura M. Weber '97 were previously announced as winners of the highly competitive awards to pursue graduate study in the humanities. Stipends for the fellowships, awarded to students who will enter Ph.D. programs this fall, amount to $14,000 plus tuition and mandated fees. The fellowships are for the first year of graduate study only.

Greer, who had already been awarded full tuition and a four-year fellowship from the University of Chicago, said the Mellon grant will help to cover even more of the costs of the six-year program.

Greer says he chose the University of Chicago over Duke and Princeton universities because the program shares the same respect for the discipline of political science as Kenyon. "I was so comfortable at the College that I thought I'd continue the same tradition," he says. "There's an intimate connection between Kenyon and the University of Chicago, since several of my professors graduated from Chicago."

One of them, Professor Pamela Jensen, who taught Greer as a student and served as an advisor for his honors thesis, says he will be challenged by the differences as well as the similarities between the University of Chicago and the College.

"Kirk is very passionate about what he studies," says Jensen. "While the University of Chicago will expose him to a broader range of ideas than he was exposed to at Kenyon, he will always be his own man. Kirk will never be someone's protégé, although I'm sure many will want to claim him."

Ninety-seven of the entry-level, portable merit fellowships were awarded in this year's competition from a field of 750 applicants. Judging is based on grade-point averages, Graduate Record Examination scores, and outstanding future promise, as attested to by faculty members at the candidates' home institutions.

Greer's fellowship places Kenyon in the top eight for the number of winners from a single institution. Harvard led among the fifty-five institutions with winners, with a total of eleven. Following were Yale University with eight, Princeton University with four, and Brown University, Kenyon, Reed College, the University of Chicago, and the University of California at Berkeley with three each.

The Mellon Fellowships are funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.