Ploughman Scholarship

The Ploughman Scholarship is generally $1,000. Please see below for more information. This scholarship is offered to English majors who have been accepted to participate on UGA at Oxford's Franklin Study Abroad Programs during the full semester.

The Ploughman Scholarship, named for a character in Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales was established in 1999 by Ken and Andrea Parris, who wanted to give students who would otherwise not be able to study abroad the opportunity to do so. The first Ploughman Scholarship was awarded in 2000. Neither of the Parrises participated in UGA at Oxford as students at the University of Georgia, but Ken Parris became acquainted with Dr. Shaw in the early eighties when he enrolled in her class on Chaucer. At that time, he was particularly impressed with Chaucer's ploughman, an ideal, hard-working, Christian character. Today, Ken Parris travels around the world putting together strategic partnerships as a businessman involved in merchant and investment banking, and his admiration for Chaucer's character has grown. "That character is the one that sticks with you," says Parris, who feels that the ploughman's faithful humility and honesty are lacking in today's society.  "These are things that young people should aspire to develop," says Parris.

Parris’s own experience in international travel has led him to realize that exposure to and an understanding of different peoples and cultures helps to instill qualities of humanism, charity, and tolerance. “All travel is eye-opening,” he says. “It creates the appetite for more. The more you travel, the better informed you are.” It is this belief that has inspired the Parrises to support UGA at Oxford, UGA’s most comprehensive academic study abroad program located in one of the great centers of humanistic learning in the world. “It’s a great program which offers students something they can’t get in Athens.” He suggests that students consider the following passage from T.S. Eliot:

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.--From The Four Quartets, ‘Little Gidding’, ll. 239-242

“When you step off the train in Oxford, it all comes together,” adds Parris.

According to the terms of the Parrises’ bequest, preference will be given to well-qualified first generation college students from the State of Georgia or the South-Eastern United States. All well-qualified English majors are, however, encouraged to apply for the scholarship.

A completed application consists of an offical transcript, two confidential academic letters of recommendation from UGA faculty members, an award statement from the Office of Student Financial Aid at UGA, an academic writing sample (at least 5 pages in length) preferably produced in a course taken with one of the recommenders, and a personal essay of 1,000 – 1,200 words describing the aspirations of the applicant and how they strive to fulfil the ideals of Chaucer’s character in his or her daily life. Please submit your applications to the main office, UGA at Oxford, 1324 South Lumpkin Street, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. Your recommenders should write directly to the attention of The Scholarship Committee at the aforementioned main office address.

Scholarship application deadlines coincide with Program application deadlines; scholarship applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on 16 October 2015 (for SPIA 2016 awards), 16 October 2015 (for Spring 2016 awards), 22 January 2016 (for Junemester and Franklin/Grady/Terry Summer 2016 awards), and 4 March 2016 (for Fall 2016 awards).

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