D.C.-Wellesley College senior Claudia Veritas of Goffstown,
N.H., and 2001 graduate Marisa Van Saanen of Bethesda, Md.,
are two of 40 leading young Americans to be awarded Marshall
Scholarships to study at a university in Britain next year.
British Ambassador Sir Christopher Meyer announced the scholarship
awards in early December. Veritas and Van Saanen are the
10th and 11th Wellesley College students to be awarded the
daughter of Ana-lia Maltais of Goffstown, N.H., and Edward
Cannon of Bedford, N.H., Veritas graduated from Phillips
Exeter Academy in 1997 and matriculated at Saint Anselm
College. She transferred to Wellesley, where she is majoring
in political science. Captain of the varsity lacrosse team,
she was named Conference Player of the Year two years in
a row. After completing her sociology studies at Oxford
University in Britain, she plans to become a child advocate.
She credits parental guidance with her success, referring
to Cannon as "the best father that I have known. He exemplifies
the generosity of spirit and extraordinary selflessness
that changes children's lives."
offers programs well suited to her goals. "I am devoted
to improving children's lives on a global scale," she said.
"At Oxford, I will gain the tools that I need to deeply
understand the condition of children and families forming
the foundation of my life's work."
factors for earning a Marshall Scholarship include overcoming
adversity; Veritas says she is no exception. "I have had
to overcome great adversity to get to where I am today,"
she said. "In my application, I asked the Marshall Commission
to invest in me so that I may give back to children and
families. To do so will be a triumph not only for myself
but also for all of those who will have helped me, including
the Marshall Commission. I hope to do for children what
the great activists in the Civil Rights movement have done
for African-Americans. I hope to bring to the public eye
a clear picture of the challenges faced by children and
families along with a vision for how society can successfully
overcome these challenges."
Saanen, the daughter of Shelagh Van Saanen of Washington,
D.C., is a graduate of the Connelly School of the Holy Child
in Potomac, Md., where she received the Mary C. Crivella
Prize, the highest graduation honor, for character and loyalty
and service to the school for four years. She also was a
Cornelian Scholar, a four-year merit prize that allowed
her to attend the school.
will most likely attend Oxford for two to three years, pursuing
a master's of philosophy in international relations. Her
goals are to "help our world eradicate economic poverty
and make it possible for all people to have clean water
and enough to eat, some basic housing and health care, access
to formal education, and freedom from violence, within our
lifetimes." She may pursue a career in education, service
at Wellesley, Van Saanen was awarded the prestigious Harry
S. Truman Scholarship for outstanding leadership and commitment
to public service. One of 61 students nationwide to receive
the honor, she earned $30,000 in scholarship aid for her
senior year at Wellesley and graduate studies. The Young
Alumnae member of the Wellesley College Board of Trustees,
Van Saanen served as president of College Government, as
an intern at the White House Office of National AIDS Policy
and Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and also as
an intern with Maryland Senator Barbara A. Mikulski's office,
among other accomplishments.
recently has returned from a Susan Rappoport Knafel International
Internship (arranged through Wellesley's Center for Work
and Service) at Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity
in Calcutta, India. "I was there for nearly three months,
working in hospices and orphanages and teaching at the Gandhi
School for Streetchildren," she said. "This is the beginning
of some research I would like to do about the function and
efficacy of social movements in addressing economic poverty."
than a thousand young Americans have been awarded Marshall
Scholarships since the program's inception. Prominent past
Marshall Scholars include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen
Breyer; Duke University president (and former Wellesley
College president and alumna) Nannerl Keohane; Providence
psychiatrist Peter Kramer ("Listening to Prozac"); and Pulitzer
Prize-winning authors Tom Friedman of The New York Times
and Dan Yergin ("The Prize"); Stanford Law School Dean Kathleen
Sullivan; and noted inventor Ray Dolby.
Marshall Scholarships were established in 1953 as a British
gesture of thanks to the people of the United States for
the assistance received after World War II under the Marshall
Plan. Financed by the British Government, the highly competitive
scholarships provide an opportunity for American students
who have demonstrated academic excellence to continue their
studies for two to three years at the British university
of their choice. The scholarships are worth about $50,000
addition to intellectual distinction, Marshall selectors
look for individuals who are likely to become leaders in
their field and make a contribution to society. The exceptional
academic achievements of this year's scholars are matched
by their commitment to public service, artistic talent and
triumph over adversity. For more information see www.marshallscholarship.org.
in 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal
arts and the education of women for 125 years. The College's
500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate