May 16, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.- Christopher Condlin, a senior at Amherst College, has been awarded a J. William Fulbright Fellowship for postgraduate study in Russia. Condlin will study "The Autocratic City" in St. Petersburg. Condlin is the son of Robert Condlin and Judy Dobbs of Baltimore, Md.

"St. Petersburg is a monument to the autocratic will," Condlin wrote in his application, "to the particular power of the Russian tsar to decree that swamp be made city."

Condlin plans to explore the "capriciousness of Russian despotism" at St. Petersburg State University. "I want to involve myself with Russia," he writes. "One must live in a country to understand its history. There is no better place to do this than St. Petersburg, for so many years the crown city from which the imperial will issued forth."

A double major in history and Russian at Amherst, where he was a member of the Russian Club, Condlin co-captained the men's lacrosse team his senior year, and was named to the 2003 NESCAC Men's Lacrosse All-Conference Team. He plans to attend graduate school in Russian history, looking toward a career in scholarship.

Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946 to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Senator J. William Fulbright, sponsor of the legislation, viewed scholarship as an alternative to armed conflict. Today the Fulbright Program, the federal government's premier scholarship program, funded by an annual congressional appropriation and contributions from other participating countries, allows Americans to study or conduct research in over 100 nations.

Condlin is one of five Amherst seniors who received Fulbright grants this year.