Hillary Hurd, a fourth-year student at the University of Virginia, has been named a 2013 Marshall Scholar by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission.
Hurd, 21, will pursue a master’s degree in international relations at Cambridge University and peace and conflict studies at the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland.
Each year, hundreds of America’s brightest students compete for the awards given by the Marshall Scholarship Committee. The scholarship funds two years of study at any university in the United Kingdom, and is valued at $35,000 a year.
“To live and breathe in one of the world’s oldest, most revered universities is such a dream,” she said. “I cherish being a student, and I’m relieved to know that I’ll have least two, and possibly more, years to refine my understanding of international law and politics and to learn from a new family of Marshall Scholars.”
Hurd, of Richmond, is the daughter of William Hurd and Reta Hurd. She is the non-voting student representative to the University’s Board of Visitors and editor-in-chief of the Wilson Journal of International Affairs. She is a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar. She is also lead fellow of the Public Service Fellows, a group of Jefferson Scholars responsible for fostering civic engagement around Grounds through organizing seminars, lectures and initiatives.
She was a member of the University Judiciary Committee, founder of the “Breakfast Club,” a twice-monthly roundtable discussion of short fiction with professors and students at The Fralin Museum of Art at U.Va., and an organizer of the Charlottesville Refugee Dinner, a fundraiser to raise awareness of refugees at the University and surrounding Charlottesville community.
“This is a great honor and opportunity for Hillary, and very exciting for the University,” said Lucy Russell, director of U.Va.’s Center for Undergraduate Excellence. “Hillary combines a passion for international politics with an extraordinary facility for languages and a belief in the power of diplomacy. She proposes to take full advantage of this extraordinary opportunity by studying in two different programs in the United Kingdom.”
George Klosko, Henry and Grace Doherty Professor of Politics, praised Hurd for her acuity, intellect and tenacity. He cited her participation in his politics honors class.
Hurd “likes to argue, showed a passionate interest in the material, and also had completely original things to say about almost all of the texts, which I also generally disagreed with,” Klosko said. “She has a mind of her own, is not bashful about expressing her ideas, and not only argued with me and the other students in class throughout the semester, but frequently sought me out in my office to continue the discussions. Hillary has risen to the top in every organization in which she has participated and will obviously go far.”
John Owen, a professor of politics and editor-in-chief of Security Studies, said he was not surprised with Hurd’s selection.
“She is a superb student,” Owen said. “Hers is the sort of mind that can find the nub of an argument quickly, yet also navigates through complexity. She does not shrink from risk, either intellectual or political. Hillary is a skilled diplomat, but not simply the kind who locates the least common denominator; instead she pushes herself and those around her to think of new and better ideas. Her willingness to take risks and her diplomatic talents suit her exceedingly well to study post-conflict diplomacy in Cambridge.”
The Marshall Scholarship was created in 1953 by the British Parliament and is funded by the British government in honor of U.S. General George C. Marshall, who crafted the plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. About 1,500 American men and women have studied in more than 44 different universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Marshall alumni include a Supreme Court justice, members of Congress, members of the U.S. President’s Cabinet, Pulitzer Prize winners and leaders in journalism, academia, business, entertainment, sports, the military, science, engineering and law.
For information on the Marshall Scholarship, click here.