Bob supported AU’s Office of Merit Awards (nationally competitive student scholarships) when we nominated a history major as our sole nominee for a 2011 Marshall Scholarship. Although Bob was facing surgery at this point, and he was busy gearing up for the start of the new semester, he was determined to get to know the candidate personally. It was heartwarming to see how Bob connected with him (he said he saw a bit of himself in the student), and how warm and supportive he was of the student’s plan to pursue this incredibly selective award. He made sure that our nominee had access to historians who were well positioned to provide support and that everyone was on board to help. Kurt, our student, says that came away from the process with a much better sense of his goals within the discipline and with incredible gratitude for the level of mentoring that he received. I had a few other opportunities to witness Bob’s dedication to students–for instance, while servingwith him on the advisory committee for the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program. His desire to increase the number of diverse and first-generation college students was truly admirable. All in all, it was a joy to see students interact with this approachable and engaging scholar and educator.
Director, Office of Merit Awards