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EMU grad named Lilly Fellow

Item by Jim Bishop

A 2008 Eastern Mennonite University honors graduate has received a major fellowship award for graduate study.

Donovan E. Tann, an English major with minor in church music from East Petersburg, Pa., was one of 15 students nationwide accepted into the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program operated by Valparaiso (Ind.) University. He was selected from among 67 students nominated from the 89 schools that are members of the Lilly Fellows Program National Network of church-related colleges and universities.

The Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts seeks to renew and enhance the connections between Christianity and the academic vocation at church-related colleges and universities.

Nominees must intend to enter a PhD, MFA, ThD or equivalent program at the school of their choice in fall, 2008. Nominees “should also demonstrate a desire to explore the connections between Christianity and higher education and entertain the possibility of teaching at a church-related college or university.”

Tann, who graduated summa cum laude from EMU Apr. 27 with a double major in English and music and was a member of the honors program, plans to enroll in a combined MA and PhD English literature program at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. He has also received an assistantship there.

“Donovan was one of the brightest students I’ve ever taught,” said Martha G. (Marti) Eads, professor of language and literature at EMU. “He was thoughtful, an excellent writer, eloquent in classroom conversation.

“Donovan is a witness to the power of literature and faith in God and will one day make an excellent English teacher,” Dr. Eads added.

Over a three-year period, these fellows, along with two senior mentors, will communicate and collaborate with each other in areas of research, teaching, and professional development. The current program will end in the fall, 2011, with the Graduate Fellows being introduced to representatives of the Lilly Fellows Program National Network at the network’s annual national conference.

As a Lilly fellow, Tann will also attend four conferences over the next three years to collaborate with each other and with senior scholars and luminaries who integrate research, teaching, vocation and an interest in church-related higher education. He will receive three annual $3,000 stipends for use as needed.

While at EMU, Tann was involved in several musical ensembles and released two compact disc recordings of his original music.

He is a member of Bossler Mennonite Church, Elizabethtown, Pa.

augusta free press
augusta free press