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Gates Cambridge Scholarship awarded to Evangel graduate

May 7, 2013 | Paul K. Logsdon

Zachary Guiliano, a 2009 Evangel University graduate, was one of 40 U.S. students awarded the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship last year.

Guiliano is using his scholarship to study for a Ph.D. in history at the University of Cambridge, England. It pays the full cost of pursuing the degree, including tuition, fees, living expenses and other research-related expenses.

A native of Bartonville, Illinois, Guiliano earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from Evangel and completed a Master of Divinity last spring at Harvard University.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarships were established in 2000 by a donation of $210 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They are among the most prestigious and generous international scholarships available.

According to the Gates guidelines, successful applicants demonstrate outstanding intellectual ability, a good academic fit with Cambridge, a capacity for leadership and a genuine desire to use their knowledge to contribute to society.

The scholarship allows Guiliano to work full-time on his topic, the composition, transmission, and use of the Homiliary of Paul the Deacon, a late 8th century collection of homilies and sermons from the early Church.

“This collection became, it seems, one of the most widely-read books in the Middle Ages, apart from the Bible itself,” says Guiliano.

“I’m very curious about this topic because it gives us an idea of what the average ministers in the Middle Ages had at their disposal when they needed to ‘study up’ for a sermon. But it was also used up until the modern era. For instance, Martin Luther used it when he was preparing to publish his own collection of sermons on the Gospels.”

Guiliano’s advisor at Evangel was Dr. Bill Griffin, professor of Hebrew, who says Guiliano has an aptitude which sets him apart from his fellow students.

“He has a rare gift for languages,” says Griffin. “While I have had a few other students who can translate as well as he does, I have never seen anyone who can pick it up as fast as he does. He is downright incredible.”

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