October 19, 2000
Whitworth Student to Study in Middle East as Rotary Scholarship Ambassador
Pursuing graduate studies in the midst of political upheaval in the Middle East is not high on most college students' list of priorities or desires. But for Whitworth senior Jared Hungerford, the Middle East is exactly where he wants to study, and he will do so next year as a recipient of a $25,000 Rotary Academic-Year Ambassadorial Scholarship.
Hungerford's concern for those living in the Middle East grew into a calling after he took part in a Whitworth study tour to the area last January. "My passion is for the people, not for the land," he says. "The current residents interest me more than the Middle East's Christian history. The roadblocks to peace are so many and so complicated - I want to study the modern Middle East, and there is no place like Jerusalem to do that."
Hungerford's goals to pursue graduate studies overseas and to promote peace in the Middle East through dialogue and mutual understanding meshed with the aims of the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship Program, established in 1947. More than 30,000 men and women from 100 nations have studied abroad as recipients of scholarships from the Rotary Foundation, which seeks to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of the world.
Hungerford, a religion major from Stockton, Calif., was one of three finalists from California's Rotary District 5220 to be awarded $25,000 Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships. The award funds one academic year of graduate-level study, including round-trip transportation, tuition, fees, room and board expenses, and some educational supplies.
Dick Mandeville, associate dean of students at Whitworth, says Hungerford deserves the Rotary scholarship and is ideally suited to the challenges of being an ambassador for peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. "Jared is a solid, steady and kind young man who translates his faith into action; belief and behavior are interwoven for him," says Mandeville. "He's made a real difference on campus in the time he has been a student here."
Since his freshman year, Hungerford has put his faith into action by participating in En Christo, a student-run outreach group at Whitworth that serves Spokane's low-income populations. He has served as an outreach member, lunch making coordinator, and director, and is currently the financial and church relations director for the group. Once he completes graduate school in Jerusalem, Hungerford hopes to teach religious studies at the university level or work for the State Department.
For now, Hungerford is concentrating on his studies at Whitworth, learning as much Hebrew as possible, and looking forward to experiencing life as an international student in Jerusalem. "I hope to be a gracious visitor in my adopted country and to promote peace and understanding through my willingness to listen and learn," he says.
Jared Hungerford, Whitworth College, (509) 468-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or email@example.com.
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