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Loyola student awarded Rhodes scholarship

Loyola press release - December 7, 1998

Mary Anne Franks, a Loyola University New Orleans senior, was one of 32 American students selected on December 5 to be a Rhodes scholar, the oldest and one of the most prestigious international study awards available to American students. Franks is the first Loyola student to be chosen as a Rhodes scholar. Loyola, along with St. Louis University and Loyola University Baltimore, is one of three Jesuit institutions which had a student selected as a Rhodes scholar this year.

As Rhodes scholar, Franks will study for two years at Oxford University in England, and is hoping to be accepted into the universityís philosophy program, a highly competitive curriculum. Franks is also vying for a Fulbright scholarship, which will be awarded in the spring.

Franks, an English literature and philosophy double major and a classics minor, had not even considered applying for the scholarships until the new dean of arts and sciences, Frank E. Scully, proposed the idea to her in a meeting in which she introduced herself as the president of the philosophy club. Upon hearing the news that Franks was awarded the scholarship, Scully said, "Of the many outstanding students at Loyola, Mary Anne Franks is just exceptional."

Franks says that she came to Loyola "partly because of the allure of New Orleans and its unique culture, but also because of the schoolís warmth and the appeal of a Jesuit education." She credits her professors for both inspiring and challenging her. She claims that Assistant Professor of Philosophy Erik Vogt, Ph.D. has a remarkable way of thinking which has given her new perspectives and eradicated her notion that literature and philosophy are two separate entities. She also credits Associate Professor of English William T. Cotton and says that "his reputation precedes him. He was the most intimidating professor and my most difficult class, but he prompts his students to strive for excellence." Cotton also speaks highly of Franks, who he says is "probably the most brilliant student Iíve encountered at Loyola."

Franks is involved in many activities at Loyola and currently serves as the president of the philosophy club and editor-in-chief of ReVisions, the Loyola University literary magazine. Franks also has been published in several magazines, including Quarter After Eight and has received numerous awards and scholarships including a Loyola University Ignatian Scholarship and the Dawson Gaillard Awards for Excellence in Writing. She was a finalist in the Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics Essay Contest.

Upon graduating in May, Franks will travel to England and begin her studies in the fall and hopes to eventually work in psychoanalysis and "areas where I can be most influential, like in philosophy and literature."

Franks was chosen from among 909 applicants endorsed by 310 colleges and universities for the scholarship. Ninety-six applicants from 67 schools reached the final stage of the competition.