Marshall scholar to study in Britain

by Mike Wereschagin

It’s a long way from Grand Forks, N.D., to Warwick, Great Britain, but University senior Letisha Morgan is about to complete the trip.
The Grand Forks native will be one of 40 Marshall scholars nationwide this year, the College of Liberal Arts announced Wednesday. Morgan is the first University student to receive the award in 16 years.
The Marshall Scholarship is comparable in prestige to the better-known Rhodes Scholarship. Thirty-two students receive the Rhodes each year.
Unlike the Rhodes, however, the Marshall is tenable at any British university and funds up to two years of study. Morgan has elected to attend the Centre for British and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick.
With this scholarship, Morgan joins the formidable company of several United States diplomats, a U.S. Supreme Court justice and many notable intellectuals, said Gordon Hirsch, director of the CLA honors program.
“We’re absolutely delighted,” Hirsch said. “She is a very bright student who is exceedingly modest about her abilities.”
Morgan is an honors student and a cultural studies and comparative literature major. She was also the recipient of the University’s Waller Scholarship, said Eugenia Smith, the College of Liberal Arts’ communications director.
Sally Lieberman, a CLA academic adviser, has worked closely with Morgan, who works as a CLA peer adviser.
“Letisha is an intellectual powerhouse and a spectacular human being,” Lieberman said. “In her time here, she has helped hundreds of CLA students get through their first year of college.”
Morgan could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The British Government created the scholarship in 1953 in honor of the Marshall Accord and the European Recovery Program, according to the scholarship’s Web site.
Recipients are selected on the basis of academic excellence, leadership and the applicant’s proposal, Lieberman said.
“It’s one of the most competitive scholarships there is,” she added.
Morgan is not the only intellectual giant to come out of Grand Forks’ Red River Senior High School in recent years.
Katy Backes, last year’s University recipient of the Truman Scholarship, was Morgan’s classmate. And Amy Becker, also a Red River alumna, classmate and friend of Morgan’s, was the University’s Sullivan Scholar last year.
University officials have speculated that it might be something in the water.

Mike Wereschagin welcomes comments at wereschagi[email protected]. He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3226.