Auburn senior Patrick Donnan named Marshall Scholar, one of 40 in United States

Patrick DonnanAUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University senior Patrick Donnan has been named a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, becoming one of only 40 U.S. students selected to attend their choice of university in the United Kingdom.

“We are very proud of Patrick, both for his accomplishments at Auburn and for his being named a Marshall Scholar,” said Melissa Bauman, Auburn University assistant provost and director of the Honors College. “He has displayed great leadership in the classroom and the laboratory and in advancing science in the community.”

Auburn native Donnan, who has a 3.98 grade-point average, is a student in the Honors College double-majoring in physics and music, concentrating on the bassoon, and minoring in mathematics. He is also a 2013 Barry M. Goldwater Scholar.

“I am truly humbled,” Donnan said. “Receiving the Marshall Scholarship is the culmination of all the work that my professors and Honors College staff have invested in me these past three years at Auburn. Even if I did not receive the award, going through the application process was beneficial in itself as it helped me grow as a person.

“I am looking forward to continuing my research in theoretical physics at Oxford and becoming a good ambassador for the United States and Auburn while abroad.”

Donnan conducts research in Auburn’s College of Sciences and Mathematics as a member of the theoretical and computational atomic physics group. He is an editor of the Auburn University Journal of Undergraduate Studies and has co-authored four peer-reviewed publications, one of which was published in Nature: The International Weekly Journal of Science.

“Patrick embodies a near ideal example of balance. He is an accomplished musician and an accomplished young scientist,” said Professor Ed Thomas, the Lawrence C. Wit Professor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics and one of Donnan’s research professors. “He has found a way to blend both of his passions into a seamless whole. Patrick not only has talent, but he has the dedication and self-awareness to put forth the effort and hard work to allow those talents to mature.”

Paul Harris, associate director for national prestigious scholarships in the Honors College, said, “I thoroughly enjoyed working with Patrick throughout the application process. He represents the very best of Auburn University and his generation. As a double major in physics and music, he is not only bright and intellectually engaging, but he also gives generously of his time and talents whether promoting research among his fellow physics majors or sharing his love for music as a member of the Auburn symphonic band.

The Marshall Scholarship program was established in 1953 by an act of British Parliament in honor of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall as an expression of Britain’s gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. The program is overseen by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. Approximately 900 students are endorsed annually for the scholarship by their respective universities, for which 40 scholarships are awarded nationwide.

Contacts: Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu), or Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu)