Three Tigers win Rhodes Scholarships

By Josephine Wolff and Samantha Pergadia
The Daily Princetonian

Three Princetonians — Timothy Nunan ’08, Scott Moore ’08 and Stephen Hammer ’09 — are among this year’s winners of the Rhodes Scholarship, awarded to 32 Americans to complete graduate work at Oxford. Princeton had the highest number of recipients for undergraduate work of any American university this year.

A classics major from Carrollton, Texas, Hammer is a member of the Princeton ROTC, awaiting a commission as an Army platoon leader.

“It’s a great honor to win, but my first reaction was a bittersweet one, because I know I won’t be getting to continue with my cohort of cadets that I’ve done all my training with in ROTC,” Hammer said. “It was the only thing I thought would make it worthwhile to delay this service with this war going on.”

Hammer plans to study for his master’s degree in theology at Oxford.

“I think that studying the interaction between what Christianity demands of us and what our responsibility to our country demands of us is a particularly pressing one right now,” Hammer said.

Hammer is also a lead saxophonist in the Jazz Ensemble. He is a leader in his Presbyterian ministry and one of the 15 seniors to receive early admission to Phi Beta Kappa. Hammer has also received the University’s Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence.

He said his family and fellow cadets were proud of him and his accomplishment, though they understood how difficult it would be for him to postpone his military service by spending two years pursuing a master’s degree.

“They’re happy, but I think we all understand it’s just an added burden of responsibility,” he said. “The fact that that I’m taking those two years away when I could be fighting means I need to make it all that much more meaningful.”

A German major from Palos Verdes, Calif., Nunan is currently studying in Germany on a Fulbright scholarship. While at Princeton, he was the financial vice president of the Princeton Debate Panel and a writer for the Nassau Weekly. Nunan plans to study modern European history at Oxford.

Michael Jennings, professor and chair of the German department, has known Nunan since he was a freshman participating in the Princeton In Munich program.

Jennings remembers that, even as a freshman, Nunan showed “a burning intellectual curiosity, a keen sense for the unusual and [had] extraordinary analytical abilities.”

“For Tim, rare genitive constructions are as interesting as Nazi expeditions to Tibet, and what he has to say about them is always original and often riveting,” Jennings added.

History professor Anthony Grafton, also a columnist for The Daily Princetonian, knew Nunan as a student in the Humanities Sequence and in HIS 448: History: An Introduction to the Discipline.

“What I always liked about Tim is that he’s a fearless critic, really tough-minded, thinks very clearly and is incredibly articulate,” Grafton said, adding that Nunan would often engage people in debates he inevitably won.

“Because of the breadth of his interests and the intensity with which he pursues them, he is the kind of student who becomes a kind of younger colleague to many of his teachers,” Jennings said.

Moore, a Wilson School major from Louisville, Ky., who also earned certificates in environmental studies and Chinese, is studying in China on a Fulbright scholarship. He was also named a Truman scholar. At the University, he served as the co-chair of The Daily Princetonian editorial board and was active with campus environmental groups such as Students United for a Responsible Global Environment and Greening Princeton. Moore plans to do a M.Sc. in nature, society and environmental policy.

“[Moore] is a deeply thoughtful fellow, as considerate as the day is long. He has all it takes to make a truly significant contribution to this country and to the world,” Wilson School professor Stanley Katz said in a University statement. He also called Moore “one of the most remarkable and admirable students I have taught in 30 years at Princeton.”

“There never seemed to be enough hours in the day to accomplish what Scott managed to do, and yet he never seemed pressured,” Katz added. “But in my book what most distinguishes him is that he is one of the most fundamentally decent young people I have been privileged to work with. It truly has been a privilege to work with Scott. I have learned a lot from him.”

Nunan and Moore could not be reached for comment.