Skip To Content

News Releases

Ariana Benson the Sixth Spelman Student to Win Prestigious Marshall Scholarship Share a Spelman College Press Release


Media Contact:

Mashaun D. Simon 
Spelman College 
Twitter: @spelmanmedia

Ariana Benson Marshall ScholarshipATLANTA (December 3, 2018) – Ariana Benson, C’2019, has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship. Benson is the sixth Spelman College student to receive the prestigious scholarship since its inception in 1954. Principally funded by the British Government, the program benefits from generous support through partnership arrangements with leading British academic institutions, allowing winners to pursue graduate degrees in almost any academic subject at any university in the United Kingdom.

“Spelman is so delighted that Ariana Benson is our latest Marshall Scholarship winner,” said Margery Ganz, Ph.D., director of Spelman’s Study Abroad and International Exchange Program, professor emerita of history and Benson’s fellowship advisor. “With her perfect GPA, she has demonstrated her academic ability, her work ethic, and her commitment to the life of the Spelman community.”

Marshall Scholarship winners were selected following a rigorous and high-competitive selection process that drew over 1,000 applications from top undergraduate students representing institutions across the United States. The 2019 class will take up their studies at institutions across the UK beginning in September next year.

“The next generation of American leaders – exemplified in the 2019 Marshall Scholar class – will play an important role in strengthening the ties between the United Kingdom and the United States,” said Dr. Nell Breyer, executive director of the Association of Marshall Scholars. “The AMS is proud to welcome the 2019 class to the generations of Marshall Scholars committed to advancing knowledge, international understanding and prosperity of our two nations.”

Forty-eight undergraduate students from across the United States were selected, marking a 50 percent increase in scholarships offered since 2016. The 2019 Marshall Scholarship class will also be the most diverse in history with over 40 percent being students of color. The class includes 29 women, representing the largest number of women ever selected in a single class.

“Receiving the Marshall is an incredible accomplishment. Such an honor validates the work I’ve done throughout my educational career,” said Benson, a psychology major, who plans to obtain an MFA in screenwriting from Royal Holloway, University of London to pursue television screenwriting.

“Storytelling is a passion that has been passed down to me through generations of my family,” she said. “The opportunity to study both of my favorite genres, poetry and screenwriting, is invaluable.”

About the Marshall Scholarship
Named for Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Scholarship Program began in 1953 as a gesture of gratitude to the people of the United States for the assistance that the UK received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. Since that time, it has remained uniquely positioned among national scholarships for its prestige and scope: offering talented young Americans the chance to study any academic subject at UK universities of their choice for up to three years. This has given rise to an unprecedented breadth of expertise in almost every academic field, producing numerous university presidents, six Pulitzer Prize winners, one Nobel Laureate, 14 MacArthur Fellows, two Academy Award nominees, two Supreme Court Justices and a NASA Astronaut.

About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a leading liberal arts college widely recognized as the global leader in the education of women of African descent. Located in Atlanta, the College’s picturesque campus is home to 2,100 students. Spelman is the country's leading producer of Black women who complete Ph.D.s in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The College’s status is confirmed by U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Spelman No. 51 among all liberal arts colleges and No. 1 among historically Black colleges and universities. The Wall Street Journal ranked the College No. 3, nationally, in terms of student satisfaction. Outstanding alumnae include Children’s Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman, Starbucks Group President and COO Rosalind Brewer, former Acting Surgeon General and Spelman’s first alumna President Audrey Forbes Manley, global bioinformatics geneticist Janina Jeff and authors Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones. For more information, visit


Spelman College Events CalendarEvents
Spelman College Academic CalendarAcademic

Contact Us

News Center