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Two Duke Students, One Alumnus Among New Group of Schwarzman Scholars

Scholarship Provides One Year of Study in China

Duke seniors Justin Bryant and Julian Keeley and 2015 graduate David Robertson were named to the second class of Schwarzman Scholars.
Duke seniors Justin Bryant and Julian Keeley and 2015 graduate David Robertson were named to the second class of Schwarzman Scholars.

Two Duke University students and a recent alumnus have been named Schwarzman Scholars, which provides for one year of study at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Seniors Justin Bryant of Johns Creek, Georgia, and Julian Keeley of New York, New York, and 2015 graduate David Robertson of Fairfax, Virginia, were named to the second class of Schwarzman Scholars. They are among 125 recipients selected from 2,747 applicants across 119 countries.

The scholars develop leadership skills through a funded one-year master’s degree in public policy, economics or international studies. Scholars are selected on the basis of leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to understand other cultures.

Students will live and study together at Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman College campus, a newly built, state-of-the-art facility. 

“I’m thrilled that Duke has three Schwarzman Scholars this year,” said Duke University President Richard Brodhead.  “A deep understanding of China will be critical to future leaders, and I’m delighted that these three outstanding young people, who have contributed greatly to the Duke community, will have this exciting opportunity.” 

Bryant is a Reginaldo Howard Memorial Scholar majoring in public policy studies and pursuing a certificate in information science and information studies. He participated in the Duke Kunshan University Global Learning Semester program in Kunshan, China, and eventually wants to work in technology and innovation policy and is interested in pursuing elected office.

Keeley is an economics major pursing a minor in philosophy with a focus on politics and economics. He interned on the U.S. House Budget Committee under Rep. Paul Ryan and plans to pursue a career in an international intergovernmental financial organization.  

Robertson graduated from Duke in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in public policy with a minor in economics. While at Duke, he held leadership positions with the Duke University Student Government, Common Ground Diversity Retreat and the Duke First-Year Advisory Board. He eventually plans to go to law school.

The Schwarzman Scholars initiative is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $450 million endowment will support up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and elsewhere.