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Bradley Hilltopics

Summer 2008 • Volume 14, Issue 3  


Brian Biggs ’08 center, is congratulated by President Joanne Glasser and professor of economics Dr. Bob Scott.

BRIAN BIGGS ’08 center, is congratulated by President Joanne Glasser and professor of economics Dr. Bob Scott.
He was awarded the Davies-Jackson Scholarship to study social and political sciences at Cambridge University in England.

Econ major awarded Cambridge Scholarship

by Aimée Roy

Economics major BRIAN BIGGS ’08 was recently awarded the prestigious Davies-Jackson Scholarship to study social and political sciences at St. John’s College at Cambridge University. The scholarship pays for room and board, travel to and from England, and all living expenses for the academic year and the summer.

“Statistically, this award will not happen again
for Bradley in the next
400 years.” Dr. Bob Scott

One recipient is selected each year from among several hundred applicants across the United States. Candidates must have exceptional academic records and be among the first in their family to graduate from college. Biggs is a Pekin Community High School graduate. His mother’s formal education ended with tenth grade and his father’s at eighth grade.

After two years of study, candidates are awarded a Cambridge B.A. degree, known as the Cantab degree, which is often regarded as the equivalent of a master’s degree in the United States.

“When the application for the scholarship came across my desk last fall, I thought it fit Brian to a T,” said Dr. Bob Scott, professor of economics.

As an undergraduate, Biggs worked closely with Scott on a number of projects, including a paper they presented to a scholarly journal. Biggs also helped teach a mathematical economics class, a class he had never taken, which required him to first teach himself how to use the computer program Mathematica. “My professors pushed me to do my best,” said Biggs. “They have all contributed substantially to where I am now and where I’m going.”

Biggs’ interests go beyond the economics classroom. With a major in economics and minors in philosophy, sociology, and math, Biggs is president of Bradley’s Amnesty International organization. His study abroad experiences have taken him to Spain and Taiwan, where he lived in a Buddhist monastery for a month. His personal travels have taken him to Peru, France, and several visits to Canada, where he volunteered at a camp for underprivileged children.

“I am interested in studying how to use economics as a tool for social change…to look for ways to make things more equal in places like Latin America,” said Biggs. He enjoys doing research and hopes to earn a doctorate degree and possibly become a college professor.

Biggs said he developed his love of learning from teachers who encouraged him, and by the example set by his grandparents, with whom he spent much of his childhood. “My grandparents were very loving and hardworking. The example they set contributed greatly to my work ethic and character,” said Biggs.