Elizabeth Hamm


Due to my dad’s military career, I have lived in Georgia, Colorado, England, Texas, Alabama, Maryland, and Hawaii. My educational experiences were as varied as the places I lived: I was homeschooled (K, 3rd-7th, 10th grade), I attended a private school (8th), and I began and ended my education in public school (K, 1st-2nd, 11th-12th). When I was growing up as a homeschooler, I loved reading, camping, running, swimming in creeks, and playacting in imaginary kingdoms I invented with my siblings. Homeschooling gave me the deep love of learning, the curiosity, and the active imagination that have continued to influence my study of language, literature, and performance. At UT, I am earning a double major in Classics and English. Classics allows me to read and enjoy literature in Latin and Greek, and English challenges me to keep growing as a writer in my own language. Currently, I am writing an English Honors thesis on the influence of the Christian theological tradition on two of T.S. Eliot’s religious poems (one written in 1927, one between 1936 and 1943). I hope to draw on both English and Classics in my thesis project. One of my professional goals is to continue my education in a field that will allow me to integrate my diverse research interests. Even more close to my heart is my desire
to learn how to teach. My high school teachers and college professors were wonderful influences on my life, and I want to learn how to teach students as well as they taught me. I hope that someday I will be able to pass on the excitement I feel about the subjects I study. Finally, one of my personal goals is to travel widely after college. I always love exploring a new city and finding my home in a new place!

Majors: English and Classics, with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas (a “Great Books” certificate)

Honors Program: Liberal Arts Honors

Other Academic Interests:Augustine’s Confessions, early Christian theology, religion in modernist poetry, Shakespeare in performance, literary translation, film, education programming in archives and museums, pedagogy

Extracurricular Activities:
Currently, I am a mentor for freshmen in the Jefferson Scholars Program, a member of a spirit group called Excelerate Texas, a member of the Classics honors society Eta Sigma Phi, a member of the Film Admiration Society of Texas, and a Latin tutor. In the past three years, my most important extracurricular activities were working as a UT tour guide, interning in classroom instruction at the Harry Ransom Center, performing in the Shakespeare at Winedale spring and summer programs, directing for the Liberal Arts Honors theater organization, editing humanities submissions to the Texas Undergraduate Research Journal, and copyediting for the Daily Texan. I studied abroad at the Rome Institute of Liberal Arts, a four-week program focused on reading key works of political philosophy. Last summer, I completed UT’s Summer Intensive Greek program, a ten-week “boot camp for ancient Greek.” Both opportunities were possible for me only because of the enrichment funding provided by the Forty Acres Scholarship.

What drew you to the Forty Acres Scholars Program (FASP)?
When I visited UT for the Forty Acres Finalist Weekend, I was blown away by the energy of the University: I felt an excitement buzzing around Austin that characterized even the architecture of this campus, from the classic stone and terracotta buildings in the Six Pack to the impossibly grand curves of the stadium and the rolling hills of the Forty Acres. I felt that here was a place where things were happening. I knew that the Forty Acres Scholars program would give me the chance to experience the best of what the University had to offer. I chose UT and the Forty Acres Scholars program because I knew how valuable it would be to belong to this small community of highly motivated, dedicated people, and to have this program as my home on campus. Since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at UT alongside my fellow Forty Acres Scholars. I’m very grateful for the amazing opportunities this program has given me, especially for the alumni events, the annual cohort retreats, and, most of all, the generous funding for the study abroad experiences and academic conferences that have been incredibly important to the development of my personal and professional goals.

What do you want prospective students to know about the University of Texas?
Here’s what I’d say to any students who are considering applying to The University of Texas: know that college is what you make of it. Your college experience doesn’t come to you neatly packaged up, guaranteed by the name of your school or even by your chosen major! Instead, the opportunities you are able to take advantage of while you are at college will shape your experience. That’s why I chose a university that is full of opportunities in every direction, from spirit groups and sororities to research partnerships, from theater groups to tutoring jobs, from startups to intramurals, from museum internships to service organizations. That’s why I was thrilled to accept the Forty Acres Scholarship, because the program encourages scholars to seek opportunity in all directions all the time. I am never more inspired to throw all my energy into the things I love than when I am at a program event with my fellow Forty Acres Scholars. Because The University overflows with all kinds of opportunity, and because the Forty Acres
Scholars program has constantly challenged me to maximize the value of my education here, I have been able to pursue rich, varied, and vastly rewarding activities during my college years.

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