April 20, 2012
Fulfilling a dream: Rotary scholarship taking student from Ashland to Oxford
From the time she was a little girl, Kansas State University's Bethany Spare, senior in history and political science, Ashland, has envisioned what it would be like to walk the streets where English history was made.
Awarded the 2012 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship, Spare will get her master of studies in modern European and British history at Oxford University in England. Using the $26,000 scholarship, she will study the Tudor Court and the English Reformation, with specific focus on the religious faith of the six wives of Henry VIII.
Spare was one of 700 students from 70 countries awarded the scholarship. Rotary District 5690 of Kansas and Oklahoma nominated her for the award.
"This truly is a dream come true," Spare said. "I have wanted to study at Oxford since I was 6 years old. Every morning I get up and I realize that my dream -- what I've worked and sacrificed for so long -- is finally coming true."
Kansas State University has produced 47 Ambassadorial Scholars in the last 38 years, including 12 winners in the last 12 years. Since the program began in 1947, a total of $532 million has been awarded to 41,000 men and women around the world. Although the Ambassadorial Scholarship program will end in 2013 the Rotary Foundation will replace it with grants that will allow individual Rotary districts to administer their own versions of the scholarship.
The mission of Rotary is promoting international understanding and friendly relations among people of different parts of the world. While in England, Spare will act as a goodwill ambassador for the United States by speaking at different Rotary clubs in the Oxford district and getting involved in community service projects.
"I am honored that Rotary District 5690 has offered me this opportunity," Spare said. "It is a chance to walk where the history I love so much actually happened. It's a very precious experience."
Spare is a member of Christian Challenge, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She was awarded the Fellowship for the Study of Classical Liberalism in 2010 and the Leo and Irene Chapman Excellence in History Scholarship in 2011. Outside the university she volunteers for Life Choice Ministries and AWANA Cubbies, a preschool ministry program. A graduate of Ashland High School, she is the daughter of Michelle and Randall Spare, Ashland.