Keasbey Winner Mary Hartley Platt '07 Oxford-Bound

Story posted May 10, 2007

Mary Hartley Platt '07 is one of only two students in the U.S. to receive a Keasbey Scholarship to study at Oxford. A classics major here at Bowdoin, Platt says she'll pursue a Master of Philosophy in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature during her two years at Balliol College at the University of Oxford.

Mary Hartley Platt photo.jpg
Mary Hartley Platt '07

"I'm deliriously happy about it," says Platt, who starting thinking about applying for the Keasbey when she was abroad during her junior year studying in a classics program in Rome.

Platt says she'll spend her first year at Oxford immersed in the reading of ancient languages, and the second producing a 26,000-word thesis. She admits to a bit of apprehensiveness as she leaves behind her comfort zone populated by only a handful of classics professors for the world of Oxford, in which as many as 50 classics instructors reside.

"Bowdoin, especially the classics department, is so comfortable - especially the professors," Platt says. "They've been incredibly supportive."

However, Platt says she also finds comfort in the quality of graduate school life offered at Oxford. "It's one of the more balanced graduate programs," she says. "You're able to be involved in university life in a way that's more akin to an undergrad experience." Like living in a dorm and getting involved in extracurricular activities such as singing in a choir.

"I grew up singing liturgical music," says Platt. "I love my singing groups here at Bowdoin and am looking forward to getting back to singing Anglican Church music."

Platt plans to spend the summer working in a resort in Montana, where her brother trains horses. A relief, she says, from the academic rigors left behind at Bowdoin and those that await her at Oxford in the fall.

Marguerite Keasbey established the Griffith Keasbey and Anna Griffith Keasbey Memorial Foundation in 1953 to honor her parents. The Foundation awards the scholarships to support two years of study at selected British universities in the interest of promoting Anglo-American relations and providing Americans with an opportunity to experience the British educational system.

Keasbey Scholars are selected based on academic excellence, active participation in extracurricular activities, leadership abilities and personal promise.

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