UNL graduate wins Marshall Scholarship

Aaron EskeLincoln, Neb., December 4, 2006 -- On the heels of a record-breaking year with seven student Fulbright grants, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln can add another feather to its cap: 2005 graduate Aaron Eske has been awarded a prestigious Marshall Scholarship.

Marshall awards finance young Americans to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Forty scholars are selected each year (from approximately 1,200 applicants) to spend two years at a British institution pursuing any field of study.

"The Marshall is an extremely prestigious award," said Laura Damuth, director of undergraduate research and fellowship advising at UNL. "It is exciting, and a wonderful, wonderful reflection on undergraduate education and preparation at UNL."

Eske, 23, will attend the London School of Economics. In his first year he will complete a master's degree in global politics, and he will use his second year to pursue a master's degree in development management. His studies will commence in October.

"I've been thinking of going to the London School of Economics for a while and thought this would be a great way to actually make it happen," Eske said. "Actually, I kind of applied on a whim; I only discovered the scholarship about a month before the deadline."

Things have happened so quickly that Eske said the news has yet to really sink in. "My family and friends have been really encouraging about the opportunity," he said. "Then they have all followed up by checking their calendars to see when they can visit."

Eske, who works as press secretary for Sen. Ben Nelson in Washington, D.C., graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School in 2001. At UNL, he majored in advertising in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. He was a Peter Kiewit scholar, Regents scholar, Daily Nebraskan columnist, and a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board.

The scholarships were founded by an act of the British Parliament in 1953 and commemorate the humane ideals of the European Recovery Program, commonly known as the Marshall Plan. They were named in honor of Gen. George C. Marshall, who served as chief of staff of U.S. armed forces from 1939 to 1945, building and directing the largest army in history. A diplomat, he acted as secretary of state from 1947 to 1949, formulating the Marshall Plan, an unprecedented program of economic and military aid to foreign nations. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1953.

Noteworthy Marshall Scholars include New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, former Arizona governor and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, and Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School.

Marshall Scholarships are funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and administered by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission in the United Kingdom. The selection process in the United States is managed by the British Council, on behalf of the British Embassy in Washington D.C., and the regional consulates-general in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco.