May 13, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 16

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    Third-year will pursue writing with scholarship

    By Jennifer Leovy
    News Office

    A third-year student bound for a career in writing, David Haglund has recently received a Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship from the Sperry Fund to pursue graduate study in English.

    The scholarship enables highly motivated juniors from top-ranked colleges to pursue graduate study in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Haglund will receive $2,000 upon completion of his undergraduate degree and a $15,000 stipend each year for two years of graduate study.

    Haglund, an English concentrator, said he knows his career will include writing. “I have a strong interest in journalism, and ideally, someday I would like to write and edit for a journal such as the Boston Review,” said Haglund. Before Haglund begins his writing career, he hopes to write a biography of Wallace Stevens for his B.A. paper. Haglund, who currently writes for the Free Press, also plays guitar.

    Haglund was one in a group of outstanding nominees for this year’s awards, said Thomas Parkinson, program director for the Beinecke scholarship.

    “Although our applicant pool is always of the highest quality, this year was the most outstanding group of nominees I have ever seen,” said Parkinson. “David stood out because of his writing on Mormonism––and he had such strong endorsements from his faculty.” Haglund received faculty letters of recommendation from Wayne Booth, the George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in English Language & Literature; Janice Knight, Associate Professor in English Language & Literature; and Michael Murrin, Professor in English Language & Literature, Comparative Literature and the Divinity School.

    In his intellectual biography required on the application, Haglund wrote:

    “I was born in Utah and raised in New England. I have fancied Boston and Salt Lake City as the American equivalents of Athens and Jerusalem––the contrasting origins of Western Civilization––and my own self as having roots in similarly contrasting cities. As my sense of self has broadened and deepened, these roots have become more powerful.”

    When Haglund was a sophomore, he convinced Booth to admit him into a graduate seminar course––the only sophomore allowed to enroll. Booth gave Haglund an “A” in the course. “David is bright, eager. I cannot think of an undergraduate who has impressed me more,” said Booth. “As a teacher in the seminar class, he encouraged discussion because his ideas and questions are stimulating to those around him––he thinks hard.”

    The Beinecke Brothers Memorial Scholarship was created in 1971 and named for the three brothers, who for 50 years led the Sperry and Hutchinson Company from a small business to one exceeding $350 million in revenues by 1970. Businessmen as well as aesthetes, they are perhaps best known for creating the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library. Donated to Yale in 1963, the library houses the largest collection of materials relating to Robert Louis Stevenson, personally collected by Edwin Beinecke, and an extensive collection of books and manuscripts on the American West collected by Frederick Beinecke.

    According to Parkinson, Frederick’s son, William Sperry Beinecke, chairman of the Sperry and Hutchinson Company until his retirement in 1980, advocated corporate support for educational institutions and led the company to set the pace for corporate charitable giving in this country.

    Each year, the Beinecke committee selects a maximum of 20 students for the scholarship. As part of the scholarship’s standard criteria, the University will skip one year and become eligible to nominate another candidate in 2001, as will other institutions with 1999 winners. Haglund is Chicago’s fourth recipient of the scholarship.