RCAH student David Clauson awarded 2013 Featherstone Prize

On Tuesday, April 23, 2013, RCAH senior David Clauson will be celebrated at MSU's 2013 Featherstone Prize luncheon honoring this year's nominees and two co-winners. Along with Ana Wolken, David will receive $3,000 to use toward "future growth and development, travel, graduate study, or meditation." David was nominated for the Featherstone Prize by RCAH and Department of Theatre Assistant Professor Ann Folino White and supported by letters of recommendation from RCAH Associate Professor Chris Scales and Department of Theatre Visiting Assistant Professor Daniel Smith, Jr.

In David’s four years at Michigan State, he has completed coursework and engaged in activities through both the RCAH and the MSU Department of Theatre. He was a member of the planning committee for the 2012-13 Hunger Dialogues, as well as serving as assistant director, stage manager, and dramaturg on many Department of Theatre productions.

David's outreach and engagement work includes direction of a community reading of Sandra Seaton’s Music History at the MSU Library, an adaptation of scenes from Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close for a public reading as part of MSU’s “One Book, One Community” programming, as well as his work on the Young Playwrights Festival through the Wharton Center. This summer, he will be working for the City Theatre of Pittsburgh’s Literary Department as an intern, and in the fall he will begin his work towards an MFA in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at the Yale School of Drama.

About the Featherstone Prize

(From an address by Gerald Faverman, Ph.D., May 1996)

In the summer of 1986, a group of graduate alumni of the Michigan State University College of Education came together to found the Richard Lee Featherstone Society with the purpose of celebrating Dr. Featherstone’s extraordinary life and his contributions to scholarship, research, and leadership.

The Society first established scholarships for graduate study in MSU’s Department of Educational Administration, where Dick had served as professor and chairperson. But his role had been more than a professor within one college. He had been a leader across campus and beyond in continuing education, management sciences, and leadership development. His advocacy for non-traditional students, particularly women, was far in advance of the University culture.

His passionate love for this University knew no bounds, and he responded well to my suggestion that Michigan State University had many scholarships, but few unrestricted awards based on merit and potential. The vision that we shared as we walked our daily mile in his relentless battle against liver cancer was to identify the best and the brightest young men and women from the various degree-granting units of the University, and to grant them an award that could be used for their future growth and development, travel, graduate study, or meditation—a prize without limit or bounds.

The Rhodes, Truman, and Marshall awards were the models that we drew from in developing the Featherstone Prize. The Prize is now fully endowed, and will be awarded tomorrow and every subsequent year. If the winner—and all the nominees—continue to embody the ideals of Dick Featherstone’s life as expressed in their essays and by their faculty nominators; if they continue to express their genius, innovation, scholarship, and creativity, then this University and this nation will be well-served indeed.

As our civilization faces the most awesome challenges in a millennium, you are our hope, and this Prize may be Dick’s greatest memorial to a life well lived.

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