Two Occidental Graduates Named Luce Scholars
Two Occidental College graduates have been awarded prestigious Henry Luce Foundation fellowships to live and work for a year in East Asia.
Toby Dalton of Seattle, a 1997 graduate, and Kate Rope of San Francisco, a 1995 graduate, are two of 18 winners from across the United States who will travel to Asia in August.
The 2001 awards mark the first time the college has had more than one recipient in the same year since the program started in 1974.
Dalton and Rope were selected for the Luce Scholars Program from a field of 180 nominees representing 67 U.S. colleges and universities. The competition is open to American citizens 29 and under. “Usually only two or three of the nation’s very top schools have two winners in the same year,” says Giorgio Secondi, an Oxy assistant professor of economics and Luce liaison. “Oxy students seem to have the kind of background that the Luce Foundation is looking for – an interest in foreign countries and lots of leadership skills.”
The purpose of the Luce Scholars Program is to increase awareness of Asia among future leaders in American society. Luce scholars have backgrounds in virtually all fields – other than Asian studies – including medicine, the arts, business, law, science, environmental studies and journalism. Which of 10 Asian countries scholars will be placed in, in addition to stipend amounts, will be determined in coming months by the Luce Foundation in collaboration with the San Francisco-based Asia Foundation.
At Occidental, Dalton was a diplomacy and world affairs major who graduated summa cum laude. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, played and coached soccer and wrote a column for the student newspaper. Dalton was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in 1997 and in the same year he won a Carnegie Fellowship, which allowed him to spend a year at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank in Washington, D.C. He was later hired by the Carnegie Endowment to conduct research on nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Dalton is now a graduate student in political science at the University of Washington.
Rope, a public policy major, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. At Occidental, she participated in the Feminist Consciousness Coalition, club lacrosse, and she was a member of the Alpha Lambda Phi sorority. Rope also served as a teacher’s aide at Eagle Rock Elementary School in Los Angeles. After Occidental she took a paralegal job at Ernst & Young, but later decided against law school and chose instead to become a journalist. After short stints at Mother Jones Magazine and Time Inc. Health, she moved to San Francisco Magazine, where she is now an associate editor. Most recently, she spent several days in a San Francisco jail to report on a program to reform violent offenders.
The New York-based Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. It has assets of about $1 billion. The foundation has a particular interest in Asian scholarship because Henry R. Luce’s parents, Henry Winters Luce and Elizabeth R. Luce, were educational missionaries to China. The couple’s four children were born in China.