Marion A. Bills Memorial Endowed Scholarship
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Marion A. Bills Memorial Endowed Scholarship

Alexander Gannuscio ’16

 Alexander Gannuscio '16

Bachelor of Arts, Summa cum laude
Philosophy

Bachelor of Arts, Summa cum laude
Modern Languages–Spanish

As a double major in Spanish and philosophy, with a minor in Italian, Alexander Gannuscio ’16 says language has been the center of his educational experience. Inspired by an English edition of Don Quixote that he read in high school, he has studied in Spain and Italy, and invested time in learning classical Greek. Language, in turn, has fed his pursuit of philosophy.

“Literature gives life to philosophy, and philosophy gives meaning to the literature,” Gannuscio says as he explains that he hopes to study literature with the objective of attaining a PhD.

As the recipient of the Marion A. Bills Scholarship, Gannuscio will spend two years at University of Oxford, pursuing a Master of Studies in Modern Languages with a concentration in Spanish in preparation, he says, for the most competitive PhD programs.

Gannuscio’s professors and advisors see no limits to his success.

“He exhibits expansive intellectual curiosity, probing intellect, and focused attentiveness,” wrote Marcia Moen, PhD, chair of the Department of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, in her nomination letter. “He is currently learning Greek through an independent study course. . . . His curiosity about contemporary ‘complexity theory’ led him to attend, without academic credit for doing so, an entire semester of weekly lectures on the topic.”

Sarah Senk, PhD, assistant professor of English, wrote, “He is a deep thinker, a broad thinker, and a focused thinker all at once. . . . Alex is a student I would describe as ‘brilliant.’ But he is also eager to learn more.”

On campus, he served as treasurer of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Alpha Pi Society for Leadership and Success, and the Philosophy Club, and a recipient of the 2015 Minerva H. Neiditz Endowed Poetry Award and the 2015 Elizabeth Williams Cathles Award in support of student research.

He plans eventually to become a professor of Spanish literature.