By Mary Summers Whittle
Alexander Russell (McIntire ’16) has been selected as this year’s recipient of McIntire’s prestigious merit-based Lenox-Conyngham Scholarship, which offers a single graduating McIntire student the opportunity to earn a one-year master’s degree—with all associated expenses paid—from Trinity College at the University of Cambridge.
Established in 2015 through a generous grant from the Anton E.B. Schefer Foundation, the scholarship seeks to foster wise, thoughtful, well-rounded citizens and leaders, as well as to help strengthen and perpetuate the long tradition of Anglo-American friendship. McIntire scholarship recipients must enroll in an arts- or humanities-related course of study at Trinity; the foundation also provides funding for an outstanding Trinity student to earn a master’s degree in Commerce from the McIntire School.
“I am incredibly honored to have been chosen as this year’s McIntire Lenox-Conyngham Scholar,” says Finance concentrator Russell, an Echols Scholar and former fourth-year Lawn resident who also majored in Environmental Sciences at the University’s College of Arts & Sciences. “I can’t think of a better way to combine my interest in business and economics with my longstanding interest in the liberal arts—and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to conduct my studies at one of the world’s premier academic institutions.”
Russell has been accepted to Cambridge University’s M.Phil. in Political and Economic Sociology, which encompasses such fascinating, perennially relevant subjects as capitalism, political theory, nationalism, and theories of revolution. Working under the guidance of Cambridge Economic Sociology Professor Christel Lane, Russell plans to investigate, through his required 20,000-word master’s thesis, the sociological underpinnings and implications of the rapidly emerging “sharing economy,” exemplified by the rise of such technology-enabled phenomena as taxi service Uber and accommodations-locator Airbnb.
“The coming year offers me an unparalleled opportunity to look at capitalism and the business world from a theoretical perspective,” says Russell, who, having deferred employment with top-tier global investment bank Lazard, will join the firm upon completing his year at Trinity in 2017. “What’s more, I’ll be doing so from a non-American perspective, as well as benefiting from the strengths of a very different academic tradition from that of McIntire and UVA.”
Russell says the combination of the world-class business education he received at McIntire and the exceptional humanities education he’ll receive at Cambridge promises to provide him with an education of incomparable quality and breadth.
“I can’t imagine a better complement to my McIntire education than this,” says Russell of his planned year at Trinity. “It’s like someone inserted this magical extra year into my life, and I am so grateful to the many McIntire faculty and staff members who supported me in my pursuit of the Lenox-Conyngham Scholarship, as well as to the Anton E.B. Schefer Foundation for its tremendous generosity in offering this remarkable and important opportunity to McIntire and Trinity College students.”
McIntire is deeply grateful to Okla “Dickey” Basil Meade Jr. (McIntire ’67), devoted friend of the late Mr. Schefer and administrator of the Anton E.B. Schefer Foundation funds, for his outstanding support of and commitment to the establishment of the Lenox-Conyngham Scholarship.