University of Arkansas Alumnus Wins Marshall Scholarship

Mike Norton
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Mike Norton

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mike Norton, a 2013 honors graduate from the University of Arkansas, has been named one of 34 Marshall Scholars for 2014 by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission. Norton, from Lincoln, Ark., majored in both poultry science and agricultural business in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, and was a member of the Honors College. He will pursue a master’s degree in politics at Oxford University.

“The Marshall Scholarship is one of the most prestigious in the country,” said Chancellor G. David Gearhart. “It is on par with the Rhodes and the Gates Cambridge Scholarships. In order to receive a Marshall, a student must be outstanding academically and must have a demonstrated ability to enact positive change. Mike Norton is a perfect choice for this recognition and for this life-changing opportunity. With the support of dedicated faculty, Mike made a significant difference on our campus, and he is currently working in Washington, D.C., making an important contribution there as well. I look forward to his return to Arkansas after his studies in Oxford and to following what promises to be a very distinguished political career."

In the spring of 2012, Norton was selected as a Harry S. Truman Scholar, which provided a $30,000 scholarship to assist paying for graduate school in the U.S. Norton will use the Truman Scholarship should he decide to pursue a doctorate after completing his master’s degree at Oxford. Before graduation last spring, Norton was featured in an Arkansas Short Takes video.

 “I am extremely excited and humbled to receive the Marshall Scholarship,” said Norton. “I look forward to starting graduate studies at the University of Oxford. The political science program is one of the best in the world and will provide an excellent foundation for a career in public service. I am really grateful to the University of Arkansas and to terrific faculty like my research mentor, professor Lanier Nalley, for providing graduates with the tools they need to succeed. I believe this prestigious award is a reflection of the achievement of both my alma mater and the state it serves.”

Norton is the former president of both the Arkansas Future Farmers of America Association and the University of Arkansas Collegiate Farm Bureau. In summer 2011, Norton interned with the World Cocoa Foundation in Accra, Ghana, where he gathered primary data and met with the farmers to assess the program’s success. Norton was also instrumental in securing the necessary funding so the U of A Full Circle Campus Food Pantry could purchase refrigeration units. Since graduating in May, Norton has worked in Washington, D.C., as an intern for the White House, the Delta Regional Authority, and the office of Arkansas Congressman Steve Womack.

“I am very pleased for Mike Norton,” said Mike Vayda, dean of Bumpers College. “He is one of the most multi-dimensional students whom I have encountered in my 30-year academic career. Mike is committed to making a difference and has applied himself fully no matter the task at hand. I fully support the Marshall assessment of Mike — that he is destined to be a leader and to make a difference in the world.”

More than 1,200 top students applied for the nationally competitive Marshall Scholarship. Other Marshall recipients include students from Stanford, Yale, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Cornell, Georgia Tech, University of California-Berkeley, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Military Academy. The only other school from the Southeastern Conference to have a Marshall Scholar this year is Auburn.

Commenting on the 2014 class of Marshall Scholars, British Consul General Andrew Millar said: “These students are exceptional young women and men who are very deserving of such a prestigious scholarship. We’re delighted to offer them an opportunity to study at a British university and expect the 2014 Marshall Scholars to become accomplished leaders in their respective fields with life-long links to the U.K.”

The Marshall Scholarship allows recipients one to three years of graduate level study at any university in the United Kingdom. Recognizing the work of Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the scholarships are an expression of Britain’s gratitude for economic assistance received through the Marshall Plan after World War II. Marshall Scholarship winners are selected for their potential to excel as scholars and leaders and as contributors to improved understanding between the U.S. and the U.K.

Prominent alumni of the Marshall Scholarship include:

  • Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Anne Applebaum, Tom Friedman, and Dan Yergin
  • U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns
  • Roger Tsien, the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist
  • Reid Hoffman, creator of the social networking platform LinkedIn
  • Ray Dolby, the late inventor of the Dolby sound system
  • Patrick Byrne, president and chairman of
  • Peter Orszag, former director of the White House Office of Management and Budget

The University of Arkansas has had six previous Marshall Scholars including Ben Hood (2002), Megan Ceronsky (2001), Warwick Sabin (1998), Charles King (1990), Lisa Pruett (1989), and John Edie (1960). The university’s office of nationally competitive awards assists U of A students and recent alumni who are competing for national fellowships and scholarships. For more information, visit


Suzanne McCray, director
Office of Nationally Competitive Awards

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations


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