Coe senior awarded prestigious McElroy Fellowship

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
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2009-04-29 14:19:24 - General

Coe College senior Ben Franta has been awarded one of two R.J. McElroy Trust fellowships for graduate study. Franta was selected from a field of six finalists from colleges and universities in northeast Iowa.

The fellowships, which carry a stipend of $10,000 per year, were established by the McElroy Trustees in 1983. They are designed to "encourage persons of accomplishment, intelligence, integrity and leadership ability to pursue challenging academic careers." Based upon satisfactory progress toward a Ph.D., the stipend may be renewed for two additional years.

Franta has majored in physics and minored in mathematics while at Coe. Following graduation in May, he plans to pursue a master's degree in archeology at Oxford University in England, and then return to the U.S. to work on his Ph.D. in applied physics at Harvard University. Franta is the son of John and Anne Franta from Elkader, Iowa.

As a student at Coe, Franta has garnered many academic honors while participating in several co-curricular activities. For the 2007-2008 school year, he was one of six Iowa college students who received a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship. Franta conducted physics research summers at Coe and MIT, and studied abroad in Greece in the fall of 2007. He performed in several theatre productions, ran varsity cross country, and was involved with the Coe Writing Center, the Coe Physics Club, and the Coe Wilderness Field Station.

The Trust benefactor, R.J. McElroy, was a pioneer broadcaster who started KWWL and the Black Hawk Broadcasting Company in 1947. He died in 1965.