Classicist Heads to Scotland on St. Andrew’s Scholarship

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (June 5, 2012) – Saint Joseph’s University junior Alex Houpert of West Hartford, Conn., has been awarded the Cmdr. George C. McFarland Scholarship from the St. Andrew’s Society of Philadelphia. The $20,000 scholarship will fund his upcoming junior year of study at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

“I look on this award as a life-changing opportunity,” says Houpert, who is carrying a double major in classics and English. An aspiring Latin teacher since he was a high school student, Houpert is fascinated by the history of the Romans in Britain, specifically Scotland. “It’s intriguing to me that the Romans were never able to invade Scotland successfully, and I look forward to exploring the reasons while I am there,” he says.

Founded in 1958 to promote understanding between the United States and Scotland by awarding scholarships to carefully selected students, the Foundation of the St. Andrew’s Society invites 18 colleges and universities in the Philadelphia region to submit a candidate for study in his or her junior year at one of four Scottish universities. Houpert’s scholarship marks the third consecutive year that an SJU student has won a top award from the St. Andrew’s Society.

“Alex is a natural Latin teacher with a lifelong commitment and desire to teach Latin and the classics,” says Maria Marsilio, Ph.D., professor of modern and classical languages and director of the classics program. “While he is studying at the University of Edinburgh, he will make great progress in his training to become a highly skilled, creative and compassionate teacher.”

Houpert traveled in Europe during high school, but the McFarland Scholarship will bring him to Scotland for the first time. While there, he will further his study of Latin literature and grammar and will begin the study of ancient Greek. In addition to his coursework, he looks forward to hiking Hadrian's Wall and visiting other sites of historical significance to Roman Britain.

“Scotland seems like a land of mystery and possibility that will allow me to fully explore my academic and personal goals,” Houpert says. “I knew that I wanted to study abroad either semester of my junior year, and I am thrilled that the St. Andrew’s Society has given me the opportunity to spend the entire year in Scotland.”

Media Contact

Patricia Allen, Senior Associate Director of University Communications, 610-660-3240,

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