An Ivy League student from Plymouth is among 43 Americans who earned a coveted 2018 Marshall Scholarship, which underwrites up to three years of study in any British institution.
Shruthi Rajasekar, a senior at Princeton University, will study opera composition for a year at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and then ethnomusicology for a year at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
The latest round of scholarships was announced Monday. They are funded each year mainly by the British government and aim to, among other things, enable intellectually distinguished young Americans to study in the United Kingdom, according to its website.
In choosing Guildhall, Rajasekar will attend one of the world’s leading conservatories and drama schools for musicians, actors, stage managers and theater technicians.
“I was truly stunned to receive the news,” Rajasekar said in a statement released by Princeton.
“I’m still overwhelmed and deeply grateful. I very briefly called my family before returning to class.” In 2016, she studied at the Royal College of London.
Rajasekar was recommended for the Marshall Scholarship by Wendy Heller, chairwoman of Princeton’s Music Department.
Heller cited an orchestral composition Rajasekar wrote, “Polite Society,” in her recommendation, pointing out that “what was so remarkable about this piece was the way in which Shruthi juxtaposed and merged Western and Indian music in a way that led listeners to consider both their similarities and differences.”
Created in 1953, the Marshall Scholarship began as a gesture of gratitude to the U.S. for the assistance Britain received after World War II under the Marshall Plan, the program that aided in Europe’s economic recovery between 1948 and 1951.