Mollie Friedlander ’14 Receives Stanford Scholarship for Future Leaders

Mollie Friedlander ’14

Mollie Friedlander ’14, of Del Mar, Calif., has been named a Knight-Hennessy Scholar by Stanford University, a new scholarship that emphasizes scholarly success and potential, as well as leadership qualities and a compassionate desire to improve the world.

“The Knight-Hennessy scholarships seems to put a particularly strong emphasis on leadership development, mentoring, and experiential learning,” said Bowdoin’s Director of Student Fellowships and Research Cindy Stocks. “These priorities are animated by their belief that if future change agents can communicate, collaborate, and innovate outside of their disciplines, real change can happen.” She pointed to the scholarship’s tagline of, “We’re seeking scholars who can out-think, out-work, and out-care others.”

The Knight-Hennessy scholarship, which selected 49 recipients from 3,601 applicants, supports graduate students at Stanford, covering the full cost of attendance of their education and providing them leadership training, mentorship, and other educational opportunities across many disciplines.

Announced in 2016, the program aims to prepare a new generation of leaders with the academic foundation and skills needed to develop creative solutions for the world’s most complex challenges. This year, the recipients include citizens of 20 countries who are pursuing degrees in 28 Stanford graduate departments.

Friedlander, who majored in Spanish and neuroscience at Bowdoin, was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Spain the year after graduating from Bowdoin. She is now pursuing an MD and PhD in developmental biology at Stanford School of Medicine, and she aspires to a career as a physician-scientist, practicing pediatric endocrinology and heading a laboratory.

John L. Hennessy, former Stanford University president and director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars, said in a press release, “There is a true optimism among this group that they can make a positive impact in the world, and that their time as Knight-Hennessy Scholars will help prepare them for that mission.”

Phil Knight, the co- founder of Nike Inc., contributed $400 million to back the program. He said the program brings gifted students together from around the globe. “I expect they will become leaders in all sectors, both public and private, and find breakthroughs that will improve the world,” he added.

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