March 20, 1998

Middlebury College Undergraduate Timothy Weld Wins NATO Prize

The Atlantic Council of the United States recently announced the winner of the prestigious 1997 NATO Essay Prize for Excellence in Writing. Middlebury College senior Timothy Weld, of Dover, Mass., won first prize for his composition, "NATO in the Post-Cold War Era." According to the Atlantic Council, Weld's paper was "the outstanding paper in a top-notch field of graduate and undergraduate student entries from colleges and universities across the country." As first place winner of the national competition and the council's honored guest, Weld traveled to Washington, D.C. to accept his award at their annual benefit dinner, held in the ballroom of the Willard Hotel on Jan. 28.

The Atlantic Council of the United States is a non-profit, bipartisan public policy organization based in Washington, D.C. It is comprised of a network of private individuals convinced of the pivotal importance of transatlantic and transpacific dialogue to promote the effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy, and of the importance of cohesive U.S. international relationships. Building on 37 years of leadership in the U.S. international affairs community, the Atlantic Council seeks to enhance U.S. initiative and leadership through policies that identify and pursue national interests in a framework of global interdependence, and also through the education of future generations.

The theme for this year's NATO Essay Prize was "The Future of the Transatlantic Relationship." Assistant Professor of Political Science Allison Stanger was impressed by an essay Weld wrote last fall for her seminar on U.S. and European relations, and nominated the five-page paper. Brent Scowcroft, chair of the Atlantic Council and former National Security Advisor under President Bush, was among the experts on the prize review panel. The Atlantic Council will be considering Weld's paper for publication.

When asked to comment, Jeffrey Cason, professor of political science at Middlebury College and Weld's advisor, said "Tim is one of those students who has shown remarkable intellectual growth in his four years at Middlebury."

Other distinguished guests at the award ceremony included president of the Atlantic Council of the United States, David Acheson, son of Dean Acheson, the American "father" of NATO and former secretary of state under President Truman; the Honorable William J. Perry, former secretary of defense; and Jeremy Rosner, special advisor to the president and secretary of state on NATO enlargement. Rosner presented the award to Weld, and during his introductory comments read from a congratulatory statement prepared by NATO's Secretary General Javier Solana, who also praised Middlebury College for playing a leading role in preparing the next generation of international leaders.

Weld spent a week in Washington. While there, he met Scowcroft, Perry, Rosner and Acheson, and also attended both the Conference on NATO Enlargement and the following luncheon as the Atlantic Council's guest. In addition to a number of other interviews, Weld met and discussed his thesis on U.S. policy in Cuba with Antonio Gayoso, president of the Association for the Study of Cuban Economy. In spite of a packed schedule while in Washington, Weld was able to tour area museums and make a side trip to the American University where he visited a professor who taught while Weld was studying there during his junior year-a semester of study made available to him as a variation of Middlebury College's study abroad program.

"I was honored," said Weld upon his return to Middlebury College. "I'm very grateful to the Atlantic Council, Allison Stanger, and my advisor, Jeffrey Cason."

After graduating from Middlebury this May, Weld plans to travel during the summer before starting his job with a small investment bank in Boston in September.