One of the highest honors given to Princeton undergraduates, the Sachs Scholarship provides “a senior with an opportunity to study, work or travel abroad after graduation” to “enlarge the holder’s experience in the world” for students interested in public affairs, according to the scholarship’s website.
The award does not aim to rank its applicants by merit, but tries to find a candidate “whose tenure of the scholarship would be most in keeping with Dan Sachs’s qualities of character, intelligence and commitment, and in whose prospective career the scholarship would be most likely to have consequences of value to the public,” the website continues.
Though currently a chemistry major, Waring said she will be using the award to pursue her other passion: language.
“I also feel called to explore my love of languages on a deeper level,” Waring said. “Oxford — with its rich history, its atmosphere of penetrating scholarship and its world-renowned linguistics department — seemed like the ideal place to do just that.”
Waring added that she hopes that the scholarship will help her jumpstart her future in academia and research.
“I’ll start by reading for an M.Phil. in general linguistics and comparative philology at Oxford, hopefully follow that up with a Ph.D. and then embark on a career in field research,” she said. “In 10 years’ time, maybe I’ll find myself on a windswept Tibetan plateau, waging war against linguistic homogenization armed with nothing but a notebook and a tape recorder.”
When she received the award, Waring recalled, she received a text message asking her to schedule a meeting with the chair of the selection committee and assumed that she was being called in for second-round interviews.
“While we waited for the last few members to arrive, I couldn’t help but speculate wildly as to what sort of questions they might ask next,” Waring said. “One of them had brought a bicycle along, and he joked that I’d have to perform an endurance test in order to claim the award.”
“Finally one of them said, ‘Alright, let’s put her out of her misery,’ “ she added. “And then I knew. I pretty much went into cardiac arrest at that point.”
Ann-Marie Elvin ’12, a close friend of Waring and a fellow finalist for the award, said she couldn’t imagine a more worthy recipient.
“Even interviewing against her, there is no one I can envision as more deserving or more gracious in her acceptance of this great honor,” Elvin said in an email. “Both her proposal and character are truly remarkable and I can say without reservation that she will realize Dan Sach’s vision for the scholarship.”
The Daniel M. Sachs scholarship was founded in 1970 by the Class of 1960 in honor of Dan Sachs, who “was a distinguished student and a fine student who intended to enter politics” but died of cancer at the age of 28, according to the website.