Rudolph-Funded Study Abroad Summer 2022 Rudolph Scholarship Blog Malik Barnes ’23 – Amsterdam
One experience that really moved me was going to the Stedelijik Museum, also known as the Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art and Design in Amsterdam. This experience was so moving to me because many of the exhibits required that I take a different perspective, and this speaks to the most impactful element of my entire experience in Europe. From meeting new people from all over the world, to witnessing different ways of life, and different approaches to the same public issues was absolutely outstanding! Though there were many pieces in the Stedelijik that caught my eye, one of the most interesting to me, was shockingly a piece on American racism. As a studier of rhetoric, it was very striking to me how things could be understood differently within a different cultural context, this was reflected and traceable in their rhetorical approach to explaining and exhibiting on American racism. It wasn’t incorrect, or inaccurate, it was just different. This aided in showing me the power in understanding not only that one’s perspective can be different, but the historical and contextual elements that fuel one’s perspective as well. Overall, it was a very moving experience and while I appreciate the classroom setting for as much as it offers however, I must say for this experience getting out and exploring was far more impactful! I want to thank Wabash College and the Rudolph family for making this experience possible.
Rudolph-funded Study Abroad Summer 2022 Rudolph Scholarship Blog Jared Gady ’23 – London
Saying that my study abroad in London was memorable would be selling it extremely short. The experience was so broad- new challenges in transportation, cultures, and ideas. Learning to navigate international airports, trains, cars, Lorie’s and walking new streets filled with smells, sights, and sounds. The new classmates and discussions from worldwide perspectives and a diverse range of cultures challenged my ideas and outlook. Eating different things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner items expanded my palette. Words alone cannot capture my gratitude to the Rudolph family for the assistance and support they provided me to be able to afford this opportunity. The past eight weeks in London were life changing. The new friendships and memories will last a lifetime. Out of all the memories and experiences, the most unforgettable was when I was on the tube when an elderly woman had a seizure and collapsed on the floor a few feet to my left. I immediately rushed to her without a second thought, rolled her over onto her side, and then pulled the emergency alarm. After the emergency personnel boarded, I noticed that most of the people in the crowded subway car were trying to ignore the medical emergency. Some even complained about the delay it was causing, which I found quite upsetting. As I write this blog, I cannot help but reflect on The Gentleman’s Rule drilled into my head since freshman orientation. At a critical point in someone else’s life, the action of The Gentleman’s Rule had become a part of my DNA. Life has a way of providing critical moments that change your trajectory. The decision to attend Wabash College, apply to the London School of Economics, and with the help of the Rudolph Family, to be in the right place and time on the tube truly made a difference in her life and mine.
Rudolph-funded Study Abroad Summer 2022 Brayden Lentz ’23 ASCSA Athens, Greece Blog Post
It certainly wasn’t very late. No more than a quarter past 10, but even the keenest observer would have been oblivious to the clock. The sun had set long ago, and its light left no trace. The ferry had only just set out from its Piraean port with Crete still seven hours ahead, yet the population on the deck was dwindling. Many turned in for the night, including my classmates, but something inside compelled me to stay. As I stood there, I noticed that, though the mainland was enveloped by night, we were slowly crawling past the Greek coast at an indiscernible pace. Only pockets of soft light, which provided the only evidence of life against an inhospitable backdrop, still dotted the shore. The peaks of Greece’s defining mountains, low but sharp, shot forth like daggers against the yet blacker sky, and a row of bright red lights flashed methodically atop the hills, warning the night against a series of otherwise invisible towers. All appeared unusually still. The only evidence of movement against the empty void ahead was the soft waves of the Aegean lapping against the ship’s hull. I remember looking up into that untainted sky, with its bright stars providing life to that otherwise barren landscape and full moon resting just above the water. In moments like these, amongst the otherwise surreal environment, I could not help but feel utterly absorbed by the grandeur of my surroundings. It was impossible not to connect my experience to all who had come before me. I was encompassed by the same mountains, moon, and stars that had characterized the journeys of mythological heroes like Hercules, Odysseus, and Aeneas. I felt connected with thousands of years of human history and filling the shoes of the literary figures I had read so much about in school. Yet, no matter how long I could have spent on those texts in class, it was only in moments like these that I could ever truly understand what they said.
This experience and countless others have come to define my month studying abroad in Greece. Thanks to the generous funding of the Rudolph family and the wonderful professors at Wabash who helped me along every step of the way, I was fortunate enough to be one of twenty students admitted into the American School of Classical Studies Athens’ (ASCSA) summer seminar titled Thanatopsis. The course led my nineteen colleagues and me from site to site in Athens before taking us through the Greek countryside and Crete as we traced the evolution of Greek funerary customs from the early Bronze age to today. Though this topic may appear mundane or even strange at first glance, the reality was anything but ordinary. Nowhere else could I have had the opportunity to climb into long deserted tombs carved into mountainsides or abandoned holes in the ground, which may or may not have been structurally sound, to get up close and personal with information that had hitherto only existed in my textbooks. At times it felt like we had visited every museum in the country and climbed every historical hill, which the steps on my Fitbit account would appear to corroborate. While I may have preferred the air conditioning of the museums to the climbing in the heat of the Greek sun, every peak from Mount Lycabettus to Mycenae made the march worth the sweat and effort.
I must also mention the incredible group that made the experience as special as it was. There were no other Wabash brothers on the trip, and most of my classmates were older than I was, the oldest being 71 (and an actor in Star Wars, strangely enough), but that did not matter in the slightest. Thanks to the school’s acceptance of students from Canada and the United Kingdom, I made new friends from across the country and beyond. There was no other group that I would have rather traveled, sweated, complained, and studied with, as we took our school seriously but never at the expense of fun. At the heart of our team were two experienced figures that kept us on track. The first one was Professor Levine, who not only planned and helmed the journey through the country every step of the way but also led us fearlessly through the winding and chaotic streets of Athens at an Olympic pace, only pausing to make a witty joke or pun if the need arose. The other man was a Greek bus driver named Christos, whose smile never fell from his face, even as he squeezed a charter bus through streets built for little more than a mule and a cart. He also never missed the opportunity to teach us Greek insults, or as he would call them, “fighting words.” While I could complain about the lack of water at restaurants, the chaotic streets, and some aggressive vendors, I have nothing poor to say to all those at the American School who made the experience possible in the wake of a pandemic.
Though I tried my best, the hundreds of photos I took on my journey will never truly capture the feelings of the sites they intend to. Nevertheless, they are good reminders of my time abroad and the opportunities made possible by Wabash College and the Rudolph family. I deeply appreciate both and hope many more Wabash men continue to take advantage of the support the school will gladly give them.
Kenneth Rhys Rudolph Memorial Fund for European Summer Study Abroad Summer 2022 Rudolph Scholar Blog Liam Thompson ’23 – Spain
This July, I was fortunate enough to live and study in Madrid at Universidad Nebrija. During my time in the city, I was able to fully immerse myself in and experience the amazing culture that Madrid has to offer. I spent many days exploring Plaza Mayor and enjoying local “tapas” nearly everywhere I went. I saw my first bullfight and toured Santiago Bernabéu, home of Real Madrid (the most recent Champions of Europe). One of my favorite parts of the city was the arts district, where I explored Parque Retiro, as well as the major museums: the Prado, Reína Sofía, and Thyssen museums. Being able to see some of the world’s most famous pieces of art like Picasso’s “Guernica” was a truly humbling experience. I was also able to travel to El Escorial, Mallorca, and Barcelona during my time in Spain. Overall, my experience abroad this summer opened my eyes to a world I could have only dreamed of. It allowed me to grow in my confidence in the language through communicating with my host family, locals, and fellow students. I am truly grateful to the Rudolph family for helping me to achieve a long-time goal of studying abroad and changing my perspective on the world.
Summer 2022 Rudolph Scholar Blog Caleb Gross ’23 – Florence
As the sun rose across the hills of Tuscany spotted by quaint farmhouses, our train zoomed out of the city of Florence and into the Italian countryside. Seated across from me, my classmates put in their headphones and closed their eyes.
“Buongiorno!” I returned the greeting to the Italian man sitting to my left. He had olive skin, dark hair, and was wearing a plain gray t-shirt. He was maybe six or seven years older than me. He was going to Rome to visit his girlfriend. It was very clear to him that I was an outsider there to tour Rome and he was eager to tell me about Italy. It was going to be a two-hour ride and I was more than glad to have the company.
I told him that I had been in Florence for about two weeks. I was hitting all the major sites in the city. Florence had been amazing. In the mornings, I was taking my intro level Italian language course (lucky for me, my new Italian friend spoke great English!). Each afternoon, I went to a different site in town. Though I walked by it daily, I spent an afternoon wandering the immensity of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, simply called “the Duomo” by the locals. It is one of the crowning achievements of the Renaissance. On another day, I marveled at Michelangelo’s David, perhaps the most famous sculpture of the Renaissance (and maybe just sculptures in general), symbolizing strength and ideal beauty.
My new friend was more than happy to share his favorite sites in town as well as places to dine. But as I talked to him, it became clear that his view of Italy was much more nuanced.
“Italy is dying,” he told me. This may have been a surprise to my peers but not to me. During the previous spring, I had taken Politics of the European Union with Dr. Hollander. One of the underlying ideas of that class was that southern European countries tended to be in worse economic condition than the north. As a result, northern countries often feel they are carrying the burden for the south, while the south has more to gain from a strong European Union. We talked at length about the conflict in the Ukraine and he felt that the EU was seeing a renewed unity as it faced that crisis. While he believed Italy’s situation to be grim, he was optimistic about the future of the EU and what that would mean for his country going forward.
When we parted ways at the train station I felt that I understood Italy in a way I had not before. Looking back at all the amazing paintings, sculptures, and architecture I had admired during my visit, I remember that the Renaissance rose out of the Dark Ages. From old Roman ruins to walls adorned with gold in St Peter’s Basilica, Italy has so much beauty. If her history is any indicator, it only takes a little inspiration to revitalize an entire civilization.
I am incredibly grateful to the Rudolph family, without whose support through the Rudolph Scholarship, I would not have been able to have this life changing opportunity. I would also like to thank Amy Weir for working through the entire process with me.
Summer 2022 Rudolph Scholar Blog Cooper Terry ’23 – Rome
This summer I had the amazing opportunity to study in Rome, Italy for four weeks. During my time in Rome, I was enrolled in a class titled Exploring Rome, the Birthplace of the Modern Museum. Through this class, I was able to learn an extensive amount of history about Rome, the Roman Empire, the influence of the Pope, and other historical facts that I did not know. Our class would visit various historical sites and museums in Rome such as the Vatican Museums, the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum, as well as many other sites within the city. We also made trips to sites outside of the city such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Fountain Gardens in Tivoli, and much more. In the five weeks that I spent in Europe I was able to travel to five different countries in Europe. I would have never known to visit these wonderful sites if I had not been blessed with receiving the Rudolph Scholarship.
The most impactful place that I visited while I was in Rome was Basilica Papale San Paolo Fuori le Mura, known as the Church of St. Paul outside the Walls. It is the burial place of Paul, one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, who was martyred for his faith while in Rome. It is called St. Paul outside the Walls because the Church is located outside the ancient walls that lined the city of Rome. Because it is located on the outskirts of Rome the church is less crowded and feels more peaceful. Unlike the Church of St. Peter inside the Vatican which gets over 30,000 visitors a day, St. Paul’s church is far less crowded, allowing me to take in the beauty of the Church. In 1823 a big fire burned down the entire Church, but through the generous donations from Royalty across the world they were able to rebuild. That is what I found to be so special about this place. You could look around and see all the different stones, such as the thin-cut alabaster stone that acted as stained-glass windows with its unique patterns which were donated by the Royal family of Egypt. You could get a sense of how important this Church and its history were to people all around the world.
This trip has been so impactful on my perspective of the world. Furthermore, it has given me the itch to want to go see more of what the world has to offer. For anyone who might be contemplating a trip while at Wabash, just do it. There will never be a more opportune time to travel. Through generous funds such as the Rudolph Scholarship and other means, Wabash will help you get to where you want to go. Take advantage of these opportunities by going out and exploring.
When I got on the plane in January, I still wasn’t quite certain what to expect. I’d done all the research, but some things can’t be looked up. I couldn’t know what my host family would be like, if I’d like the food, or the weather, or how busy the commute would be. I only had a vague idea of my classes, because they didn’t have syllabi. But one thing I wasn’t expecting at all was how beautiful the traditional French gardens would be.
In class, we covered notable French artists and architects who influenced paysagisme, landscape architecture, like Jacques Boyceau, Claude Mollet, and André Le Nôtre. I learned about the jardin à la française, it’s evolution from French Renaissance gardens, and it’s influence on the developing neo-classical British garden. But old pictures in a textbook hardly compared to visiting them with my own eyes.
The first garden I visited was at the castle of Saint Germain-en-Laye, and between the view overlooking Paris, the long circuit, the formal flower gardens, and the forest I thought it was one of the best gardens I had ever had the privilege to visit. Despite that, every garden I visited after that amazed me in new and exciting ways. When I visited the gardens of Versailles, I was blown away by the scale and intricacy of the garden. Each path led to another garden and each garden had more paths, and it just kept going. The size and grandeur were amplified by the detail worked into every elegant statue, pond, bench, and wall. I loved the peacefulness of the garden at Mont Sainte-Odile, the wind rustling the leaves and petals as it blew over the mountain. The openness of the garden at Chantilly was invigorating, and the diversity of the gardens showcased centuries of evolution in landscape architecture. Stretched along the grand canal was the Jardin anglais, from the 19thcentury, the jardin français de Le Nôtre, from the 17th century, and the Jardin anglo-chinois from the 18thcentury. The farmstead, hedge maze for meditation, reflecting pond, and woods were also exquisite; I could have spent a week there if I had the time. The chateau de la Roche-Guyon was a step even further back in time, with the oldest sections dating back over a thousand years, although the garden there was created in 1697.
I also visited the Jardin des Tuilieries, Le Jardin du Luxembourg, the hospital garden at Arles where Van Gogh often visited, and Monet’s Water Garden.
2022 Givens Scholarship Simon Terpstra ’23: Paris, France
Paris: the city of food, love, and style. A city so large that getting lost is as easy as taking one wrong turn. But it is this wrong turn that may lead you down a road traveled by kings, or to a quartier once occupied by revolutionists. Paris is the epicenter of a country so rich in history, and I was fortunate to spend an entire semester learning there. One of my more enjoyable courses that I took was about the history of Paris in art and architecture. This was a class dedicated to learning about what events and persons shaped the city into what it is today. We were hardly in the classroom. Our classes consisted of listening to our native Parisian professor speak as she guided us through the small streets and various museums. From the iconic Hausmann style architecture to artworks specifically completed for Napoleon, my professor connected history to the many art movements that occurred since the time of the Middle Ages.
I knew before arriving that I wanted to expand upon this learning outside the city limits. I could have easily spent every weekend wondering the streets of Paris, but there was so much more to see around the country. So, I did my research and found several locations where I could further explore the beauty of French architecture. When the time came, I booked a ticket, packed a bag, and set out into the unknown.
My travels to the Château de Balleroy were hectic. After staying up way to late the night before, I hopped on a 6am train to the northern city of Caen. However, sleep got the best of me, and I awoke one hour north of where I was supposed to catch a connection. Unhappy with myself, I rebooked a train back in the right direction and pushed my visit to a later time, finally making it several hours later. It was beautiful. Nestled just outside a small village in the French countryside, the Château de Balleroy stood tall as it overlooked rolling hills at its rear and mazed gardens at its front. The classical French mansion was constructed by famed architect François Mansart in 1636 for Jean II de Choisy. Son of a wine provider to Henri IV and advisor on the court of Louis XIII, he built the château to showcase their success. Its red brick facade and pleasing symmetry really highlight the classical elements used by Mansart. I really enjoyed the large windows decorating the front and the small cupola resting directly in the center. The interior is decorated just as elegantly. There are tall, intricately carved ceilings and walls. Paintings of all sorts fill the walls and hot-air balloon motifs are prevalent throughout the château. Interestingly, Malcolm Forbes of Forbes Magazine bought the place in 1970. It was he who had a large interest in balloons and even started the hot-air balloon festival which took place in front of the mansion. The Château de Balleroy has had many owners over the years, and each has added their own personal touches. Although it sits in the middle of nowhere and has housed residents from many different time periods, this hidden gem still keeps its class.
Traveling even further back in time, I made the trip to Carcassonne, a medieval fortress situated in southwestern France. Dating back to the Gallo-Roman period, this fortified city is believed to have been founded by the Romans around 100 BC. As I admired the views atop the ramparts, it was easy to see why they chose its location. You can see for miles from the hill it was built on. Carcassonne is guarded with two walls and 53 towers which were needed during the Crusades, along with attacks by Clovis and the Saracens. As I walked through the cobblestone streets it almost felt as if I was a peasant doing his weekly trading or a character in a Disney movie. Although somewhat touristy, kids ran around dressed up as knights and swung wooden swords, living their own modern-day fairytale. I imagined archers defending the city by shooting through arrow slits and catapults launching projectiles over the towering walls. Many famous cities around Europe, including Paris, began as fortified strongholds like Carcassonne. Visiting this city allowed me to capture an image of what Paris might have looked like over a thousand years ago.
I am so lucky to have been able to visit places such as the Château de Balleroy and Carcassonne. Not only were they amazing to admire and explore, visiting them added to my experience in the classroom. I was able to make meaningful connections from the art period to history and style. I am grateful to be part of such a supportive Wabash community, as these trips were possible through the Givens Scholarship. The support that students like me receive goes a long way in furthering art education and creating memories that last a lifetime. Thank you to the Givens family for taking part in my journey.
Thomas Hansen ‘23 — The Roman Forum – Rome, Italy — From a group of thatched huts on the banks of the Tiber River, to a wall built to keep the Picts out of England; from the marble temples to the emperors in modern Turkey to the houses of North Africa; from the theaters in Roman Gaul to the destroyed town of Pompeii, the Romans inhabited the entire Mediterranean and formed a diverse society. During my time abroad in Rome, I was enrolled in a class titled Roman Art and Archaeology. In this class, I explored how the Romans built and decorated their houses, how they buried their dead, how they interacted in public spaces, and how they used art for their sacred services. We began with the formation of Rome in the 8th century BCE and finished with Constantine moving the capital to the east. The semester consisted of me exploring numerous monuments such as theatres, amphitheaters, circuses, burial sites and ancient cities.
Out of all the sites I visited, the place that I enjoyed the most was the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum, also known as Latin Forum Romanum, is the most important forum in ancient Rome. Situated on low ground between Palatine and Capitoline hills, the Roman Forum was the scene of public meetings, law courts, and gladiatorial combats in republican times and was lined with several shops and markets. It was such a great place to explore because of the importance of the forum to ancient Rome. Some of the surviving structures included the Temple of the Deified Caesar, the Mamertine Prison, the Curia (senate house), the Temple of Saturn, and the Temple of Romulus. As I walked through the Roman Forum, I was able to enter a new world; a world that the ancient Romans ruled. I walked the paths that Caeser and several other emperors walked. I touched the rocks that they sat upon when making the laws that turned Rome into what it is today. These were all landmarks that the most powerful Romans once did business with and hung out in.
As I explored the Roman Forum, I was able to understand how important this site was for ancient Rome and present-day Rome. Though the forum had not been active for several centuries, it once was the single most important place in Italy. Walking through the Roman Forum gave me a deeper appreciation for the city I was fortunate enough to spend almost four months in. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to study abroad in Rome and the experiences I gained this semester will last me a lifetime.
Kwaku Sarpong ’22 — This semester, I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad in Strasbourg, France. While there, I enrolled in a Renaissance art and architecture course at the University of Strasbourg, and thanks to the Givens Scholarship, I was able to visit Renaissance architectural sites in Italy and Spain. While all of these sites were incredible in their own right, there were two places that left a deep impression on me: the city of Florence and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Upon arriving in Florence, I headed straight to nearby restaurant that a friend had suggested to me, where I enjoyed my first authentic Italian spaghetti. After that, I went into the city center to see the sites as I had planned, and I was taken aback by what I discovered. Entering Florence was like taking a leap back in time – I was surrounded not only by Renaissance culture, but by styles of art, architecture, and even urban design of all different ages. My initial surprise slowly turned into admiration as I stood in awe at the Santa Maria Novella, which when basked in sunlight had an almost relaxed, summer villa atmosphere in addition to its beauty. As I turned and strolled through the old cobblestone streets, I passed small shops and cafes and other buildings which seemed as if they had been there for ages. Eventually, I came up on the Basilica di San Lorenzo and the Florence cathedral, both of which were truly, grand majestic works. The cathedral, in particular however, was truly incredible because of the amazingness of its intricate design which when combined with its grandeur and sheer size made it one of the most impressive works of art I have ever seen in my life. As the sun began to set, I visited the Palazzo Vecchio, where I was able to admire the longevity of this ancient site of civil power. At each turn, for each new site I visited, I would discover a road, a restaurant, a café, whose unique classic style added even more to the charm of the city. I reached the Palazzo Pitti in the evening, by which time a deep fog had set in. The old brick palace loomed over the fog in the darkness, as almost a testament to the power that it once possessed. After seeing these works, I turned around to catch my train. To this moment, I am not sure which route I took or why I had not seen this before, but I found myself in a truly modern part of the city, bustling and packed with people. I walked past a live jazz and swing music performance that I greatly enjoyed and then accidentally wandered into a modern high-end shopping district filled with luxury goods that I was glad to admire even if I had no plans to buy them. As I left the district, I began to hear wafts of what sounded like traditional Indian music. Suddenly, I came upon a small group of traditionally dressed Hare Krishna followers, who were waving flags, singing, dancing, and playing music through the streets of Florence. This incredible contrast of modern life with the ancient city I had just experienced was a great way to finish what had been an amazing trip to the city of Florence.
While Florence captivated me with its own charm, my trip to St. Peter’s Basilica also left its own unique impression on me. Thanks to the scholarship, I was able to stay in Rome for two days, so I was able to see the Basilica both at night and in the morning, which was truly special. At night, I was impressed by the Basilica’s beauty – its lights combined with the artistic design of St. Peter’s square leave their mark on the night Vatican landscape. In the morning, upon seeing the Basilica and the square in much greater detail, I became more philosophical, reflecting on the thousands of years of history and culture that had passed through this ancient building. I had the opportunity to go St. Peter’s Dome, where I had been told that I could get a good view of Rome. To reach the Dome one can either take a combination of the elevator and the stairs, or just take the stairs. For the sake of the experience, I decided to take all 551 steps to the top. That was an unforgettable experience. The Vatican stairs are very, very old, meaning they were not constructed with as much attention to safety and comfort as our stairs are today. At different sections of the stairwell, I faced different challenges. Some sets of the stairs were incredibly steep, in others the passageway was too small, at other times the roof quite low. Sometimes the stairs just looked weird. I remember that after about 300 steps, there was a slight break where one can view the dome from below and then continue to the top. After getting back on the stairs, I recall thinking to myself “There’s 200 more?” But eventually, I reached the Dome, and almost instantly, I knew it was worth the effort. I could look out and see the city of Rome for miles out. As a fan of history who particularly enjoys learning about the Roman empire, it was surreal to see that great and ancient city spread out in all its grandeur for the first time.
My trips in Europe were truly lifechanging experiences, but they would not have been possible without the Givens Scholarship. I am very, very thankful to the Givens family for the opportunity they have given me and other Wabash men to study art and see the world in ways that I could never have imagined. Thanks to this scholarship, I have grown considerably as both a student and a man. I am sincerely grateful for all that the Givens family has and continues to do, and I wish the best to all Wabash students who come after me.