One of the most fulfilling aspects of being a college president is watching
young graduates excel in their chosen fields. The recent
accomplishments of two Furman alumni warrant special attention.
few weeks ago, Scott Martin, a 2001 Furman graduate and Anderson
native, graduated at the top of his 400-member class at New York's
Columbia University Law School. He is now living in Pasadena, Calif.,
where he is working as a law clerk for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S.
Court of Appeals' 9th Circuit.
Martin, who graduated from T.L.
Hanna High School in Anderson, majored in mathematics and political
science at Furman. He initially planned to pursue an advanced degree in
mathematics, but after taking a class on the philosophy of law and
participating in Furman's mock trial program, he decided to become an
attorney. "I enjoyed mathematics," he explains, "but found it to be a
somewhat isolating activity. And I found that the logical and analytical
skills I developed as a math student were invaluable in studying law."
attending Furman, Martin was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and served as
president of the senior class, Beta Theta Pi fraternity and the
Inter-Fraternity Council. He was also a recipient of the Goldwater
Scholarship, a prestigious national fellowship for undergraduates
studying mathematics and the sciences.
At Columbia, Martin was a
senior editor of the Columbia Law Review. He was awarded the school's
Robert Noxon Toppan Prize for constitutional law, the Thomas E. Dewey
Prize for written advocacy. He also earned the Hamilton Fellowship, the
law school's top scholarship award. Martin, who will complete his
clerkship next year, is keeping his career options open. He may go into
private practice and is also considering teaching law.
rising young Furman star is Alexander Stubb, known as "Tico" to his
college friends. Stubb, a member of the Furman class of 1993 and a
resident of Finland, surprised political pundits earlier this summer by
becoming one of the youngest members elected to the European Parliament.
In his first political campaign, Stubb (pronounced Stoob) finished
second only to former Finnish Prime Minister Anneli Jaatteenmaki to earn
a seat in the 732- member legislature.
Stubb's interest in
politics was sparked after he enrolled in professor Brent Nelsen's
"Politics of the European Union" class. A gregarious, charming young
man, Stubb displayed an insatiable appetite for learning. He received
Furman's general excellence award as the top overall male graduate in
After graduating with honors, Stubb remained on campus
to co-author a book with Professor Nelsen titled "The European Union:
Readings on the Theory and Practice of European Integration." Now in its
third edition, the book is widely used in college classrooms. Fluent in
five languages, Stubb is a graduate of the College of Europe in Belgium
and holds a doctorate degree from the London School of Economics. He is
a columnist for Finland's largest daily newspaper and is the author or
editor of eight books on the European Union.
Stubb served in the
Finnish foreign ministry and as an adviser to the European Union's
Commission President before being elected to the European Parliament,
which represents the citizens of the European Union's 25 member states.
He and his colleagues must grapple with an extraordinary range of
complex issues as the European Union seeks to incorporate the former
communist countries of Eastern Europe into its increasingly diverse
The precocious success of these two
uncommon young men reflects their rare combination of strength of
purpose, power of concentration and self-discipline. They are both
phenomenally well-organized, prodigious workers, bright, sharply
focused, yet deeply concerned about public issues. Their accomplishments
remind us that colleges exist for a simple and rewarding reason: to
nurture and empower young people so that they might do splendid things
in the world.