John Russell Beaumont, a Plan II Honors Program and architecture graduate from The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship, one of the most coveted study abroad scholarships available.
Beaumont's scholarship, one of 34 awarded this year, will fund his graduate education and help Beaumont pursue his chosen path as an architect or planner specializing in disaster relief. He will be studying international development with a focus on poverty, conflict and reconstruction at the University of Manchester, as well as urban design in the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College in London.
"This scholarship is an incredible opportunity," Beaumont said. "The chance to study at top universities in the U.K. is in itself a life-changing opportunity, but I am especially excited to meet the amazing students who share the scholarship. I look forward to representing the USA in the U.K. and taking full advantage of my studies and the Marshall Scholar community to contribute to emergency housing and disaster relief practices."
The scholarship covers university fees, cost of living expenses, books, thesis research and travel, as well as fares to and from the United States.
Beaumont first became passionate about relief efforts as an undergraduate, and his determination was made clear in his 104 page senior thesis, "Relief and Recovery: The Role of Architecture and Solidarity in the 2010 Chilean Earthquake Reconstruction," which the Plan II Honors Program cited as a "model thesis."
"Russell has the knowledge, the moral force of character and the courage to address one of our major problems," said Larry Carver, director of the Liberal Arts Honors Programs and a professor in UT Austin's Departments of English and Rhetoric and Writing. "He has the ability to determine how to provide housing that is affordable and functional, attractive and 'green' for those who suffer from natural or man-made disasters."
This isn't the first prestigious award Beaumont has been honored with the Albuquerque, N.M., native was recruited to The University of Texas at Austin and awarded a Dedman Distinguished Scholarship as a freshman. Of the 140 Dedman Scholars since 1990, Beaumont is the third to also win a Marshall Scholarship.
After graduation last spring, he received the Oglesby Traveling Scholarship, which is awarded to one graduating senior in architecture every year. It allowed him to travel to South America to research emergency housing and post-disaster recovery. These experiences left Beaumont eager to continue traveling internationally.
"The U.K., and London in particular, is a global center for both architecture and international development," Beaumont said. "I look forward to being immersed in that environment and learning everything I can from the amazing work that will be going on around me."
The Marshall Scholarship, now in its 60th year, is funded substantially through the government of the United Kingdom. The intention of the Marshall Scholarship is to "strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions," according to the Marshall Scholarships website. It was founded as a tribute to the Marshall Plan, which was named for former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall and through which the United States provided aid to rebuild Europe after World War II.