BYU almnus wins big

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    By Melanie Craig

    A recent BYU graduate has received a prestigious academic scholarship that will pay for his graduate school expenses, up to $50,000 per year for up to six years.

    Jordan Toone, of American Fork, found out he was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke scholarship at the end of June. He will be using the scholarship to attend Oxford and earn his masters degree in modern Middle Eastern studies.

    ?I am so excited about the opportunity, but I also think that it?s a great tribute to BYU, the Middle Eastern and Arabic Departments and the professors,? Toone said. ?I have had great preparation. The reputation of BYU for Arabic and middle eastern studies is phenomenal.?

    After graduating from BYU in August 2004 with a degree in near eastern studies and linguistics, Toone and his wife, Lindsay, spent the 2004-2005 academic year studying at the American University?s Center for Arabic Studies Abroad, in Cairo, Egypt.

    While in Cairo, Toone said he and his wife decided to apply for the Cooke scholarship instead of other smaller scholarships.

    The Jack Kent Cooke foundation was established from the estate of the late entrepreneur and owner of Washington?s pro football team. Cooke, who was born in Canada in 1912, was an athlete, a musician and an optimist. His dreams to pursue his education were cut short during the Depression, when he left high school to work full time for his family.

    The program was founded in 2000 to help young people with potential receive an education. It has provided a $7-million grant program to give low-income college students more opportunities at America?s most selective colleges. The foundation also offers scholarships to students attending community colleges who want to earn a four-year degree.

    ?The wonderful thing about the scholarship is the large amount of money that is provided,? said Carolyn Tuitupou, assistant dean of Undergraduate Education and director of prestigious scholarships at BYU.

    Tuitupou said Jordan was a very competitive runner for the scholarship ? not only because he had good grades, but also because he was involved with many other programs that gave him experience and training.

    She said students who are applying for scholarships should not only have an impressive GPA, but also should take a step back from all of their coursework and get involved in other extracurricular activities and internships.

    Students can find information for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and other scholarships online at byu.edu/scholarships. To find out more detailed information about different scholarships, visit the Office of Prestigious Scholarships and Fellowships in 102B MSRB.

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