Swensen Scholarship (Est. 2020)

The Swensen Scholarship, given in honor of David Swensen PH.D. ’80, is awarded to Yale undergraduates who excel both in the classroom and in athletics or the arts. Recipients, known as the Swensen Scholars, are awarded funding to practice the highest caliber training in their selected field. Swensen Scholars will become a cohort of achievers recognized as the epitome of Yale and the importance of curricular and extra-curricular excellence as integral parts of a liberal arts education.


Vanessa Copeland, Pauli Murray College

Put simply, there is just something about Vanessa’s presence onstage. Her quiet intensity immediately draws all present into the imaginative world of the play. During a rehearsal with her and an assistant director last semester I was moved to tell them both that Vanessa doesn’t even need a theater space to rehearse or perform in—she makes theater happen wherever she is the very moment she chooses to inhabit a character. Her work has that kind of crystal clarity to it, so rare in any performer let alone one so young. Her performances stand out for their maturity and subtlety. - Shilarna Stokes, Lecturer, Theater and Performance Studies