Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

May 16, 2008
Contact: Emanuel Costache '09
Media Relations Intern
Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.—Amherst College junior Calista McRae, an English major from East Brookfield, Mass., is one of just 22 undergraduates from across the United States to have been awarded a 2008 Beinecke Scholarship. Each year, approximately 100 colleges and universities are invited to nominate a student for the prize; winners receive $4,000 prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 for graduate study.

McRae plans to pursue her doctorate in English and then teach literature at a college or university. At Amherst, she frequently contributes art and illustrations for various campus publications such as The Indicator, Circus and Pepper. She was also recently awarded the James Charlton Knox Prize by the Amherst English department. The honor recognizes the student whose record through the junior year demonstrates the greatest integration of scholarship, interest and creativity in the study of English. McRae will use her prize money from the Knox to support a summer of study of John Dryden’s translations of Geoffrey Chaucer.

The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of the Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick and Walter Beinecke and to provide substantial scholarships for the graduate education of students of exceptional promise. Since 1975, the program has selected more than 410 college juniors from 97 different schools for support during graduate study in the arts, humanities and social sciences at any accredited university.

Founded in 1821, Amherst is a highly selective, coeducational liberal arts college with approximately 1,600 students from most of the 50 states and more than 30 other countries. Considered one of the nation’s best educational institutions, Amherst awards the B.A. degree in 34 fields of study.