Campbell’s Marshall Scholars attend Marshall Conference

Fighting had occurred throughout much of the continent. Sustained aerial bombardment badly damaged most major cities. The region’s economic structure was in ruins and millions had been made homeless. Especially damaged was the transportation infrastructure, railways, bridges and roads, leaving the countries economically isolated. This was Europe after World War II, but it could just as easily describe the devastation in Iraq today. Through American aid, the Marshall Plan restored the European economy. Campbell University’s Marshall Scholarship recipients, Franko Semanko and Jason Murphy, accompanied by the founder and director of the university’s Marshall Program, Dr. Rorin Platt, joined 150 undergraduate scholars and academics at the first ever joint Marshall Foundation-U.S. Department of State conference in Washington, D.C. The conference focused on the impact of the Marshall Plan on today’s global issues. “Speakers at the conference discussed the restructuring of Iraq and what the State Department is doing in regard to communications, the economy and trade,” said Franko Semanko, a senior history major who would like to get a master’s degree in Public Administration. “They talked of being able to use the fundamentals of the Marshall Plan to help Iraq’s situation.” Noted speakers Dr. Larry Bland, senior director and editor of the Marshall Papers, and Marcia Wong of the State Department’s Office of Reconstruction, were among the experts who discussed the Marshall Plan’s potential for post-conflict reconstruction today, as well as its diplomatic significances. Recipients of the Marshall Scholarship must write a 40-page research paper based primarily on the actual primary source manuscripts found in the Marshall Library and other repositories. The papers are written under the supervision of Platt at Campbell and JoAnne Hartog, director of Research and Scholarly programs for the Marshall Foundation. Unlike other scholarships, the Marshall requires its scholars to work under the supervision of a faculty director expert in diplomatic, military, political and intelligence history. Marshall Scholars are registered for either history 460 (three credit hours) or Government 460 (three credit hours) and are given a grade for the spring semester. Semanko’s research paper focuses on the European Recovery Act in the Balkan States after World War II. Semanko has a special interest in General George Marshall because his grandfather, John Semanko, served as Marshall’s aide. Marshall Scholar Jason Murphy is a senior pre-law and government major who would like to go on to law school. Murphy, who has been co-captain of Campbell’s undergraduate Mock Trials team which is making a bid for the national championships, is a member of several honor societies and has already been accepted to Campbell’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law. He is researching William F. Friedman and his impact on the Second World War. Friedman is known as the “Father of the National Security Agency,” which was called the Signal Intelligence Service during World War II. Friedman’s cryptanalysts broke the Japanese diplomatic code Purple, which facilitated the Allied victory over the Axis powers. “I really liked seeing the practical way the State Department operates on a day-to-day basis,” said Murphy of the conference. “I learned a lot about the amount of devastation in Iraq and what the U.S. is doing to restructure the country.” Marshall scholarship winners must choose subjects involving 20th century diplomatic and military history or political affairs spanning a period from 1898-1960, the approximate dates of George C. Marshall’s public service, including his tenure as Secretary of State after World War II and as Secretary of Defense during the Korean War. Semanko and Murphy will receive $250 each.Photo Copy: Campbell Marshall Scholars Franko Semanko, left, and Jason Murphy, right, chat with Richard Olsen, a member of the State Department of the Iraqi office, at a joint conference sponsored by the George C. Marshall Foundation and the U.S. State Department State Diplomacy Center.

This article is related to: