University News

Arnold Fellowship leaves lasting legacy

Staff Writer
Thursday, February 2, 2012

Since the program’s inception in 1964, recipients of the Arnold Fellowship — established in honor of Samuel Arnold, who graduated in 1913 — have immersed themselves in foreign countries for months at a time, gleaning experiences they could share with the University community upon their return. Over the years, fellows have studied the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, become embedded in Egypt’s Bedouin society and embarked on a nine-month pilgrimage to Tibet.

The University last awarded the Arnold Fellowship in 2010 to Daria Marinelli ’10, who used her $18,000 stipend to study tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This was the last time the Arnold Fellowship will ever be offered, said Linda Dunleavy, associate dean of the College for fellowships and pre-law.

“It just ran out of funding,” Dunleavy said. “It was a one-time, large gift that just got used up year after year. It never converted into an endowment.”

The fellowship was first offered in 1964, when Thomas J. Watson Jr. ’37 presented the University with a gift that supplied annual fellowships named after Arnold, the University’s first provost. Now that the funds from Watson’s gift have been drained, the University has stopped offering the fellowship.

“There have been efforts to reach out to the Watson Foundation,” Dunleavy said. “We wanted to see if they still had an interest in contributing to the fellowship. They’ve just shifted their focus — it’s no longer a priority for them to fund it.”

Today, all that is left of the fellowship is a legacy of research and the experiences that its winners have amassed over the years.

“I think it’s a wonderful institution that Brown had,” said Jeffrey Yoskowitz ’07, who received the fellowship in 2007. “It was very ‘Brown,’ rewarding students who were seeking transformative experiences.”

Yoskowitz traveled to Israel to research the pork industry, inserting himself into the taboo underbelly of the country’s food culture. While there, Yoskowitz moved to a pig farm that operated under the guise of a research institute, where he conducted research that demonstrated how even food can serve as a political metaphor that affects Israeli daily life.

“Arnold fellows went off on their own,” Yoskowitz said. “Everything I had to do, I had to do on my own. That was the most challenging part of my experience. But because of that, the fellowship allowed you the freedom to discover other worlds and to discover yourself.”

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