The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) is pleased to announce that it has awarded the fifth annual Bakwin Fellowship to Timothy Minella, Ph. D. candidate in history at the University of South Carolina (USC).  Mr. Minella’s major field of interest is the history of science. He intends to use the award to complete a chapter of his dissertation “Finding Nature’s Nation: Natural History, Ways of Knowing, and the Early Republic” on how Americans generated and exchanged agricultural knowledge in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Timothy Minella

The Bakwin Fellowship awards a stipend of $1,600 for advanced research in regional archives and libraries on subjects that comport with the central concerns of the AHI as defined in its charter. Recipients of the award will reside, free of charge, for one summer month at the AHI’s headquarters in Clinton, NY. The fellowship honors E. M. (Pete) Bakwin, a graduate of Hamilton College (1950) and the University of Chicago (1961).  Mr. Bakwin served as Chairman of the Board of MB Financial Bank in Chicago. A long-standing student of Western culture, his generosity has touched Hamilton College, the University of Chicago, Shimer College, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and many other institutions.

Mr. Minella graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in physics and government from Hamilton College in 2009.  In 2010, he received USC’s Presidential Doctoral Fellowship, which is awarded to an outstanding applicant in any field of graduate study to support four years of study.  AHI Charter Fellow Douglas Ambrose taught Mr. Minella as an undergraduate and encouraged his pursuit of an advanced degree in history.  “In his first two years as an undergraduate at Hamilton College,” Ambrose observed, “Tim Minella distinguished himself as an exceptional student. In his senior year, I was blessed to have Tim take my course on “The Founders and Their Progeny.”  It was only his second history course, but, I am proud to say, it helped him redirect his formidable intellectual gifts.  As he did throughout his career at Hamilton, Tim has impressed his professors and his fellow students at South Carolina with his probing intellect, his commitment to excellence, his rigorous work ethic, and his rare ability to make people reconsider their assumptions and interpretations.  What I once said of Tim’s performance in my seminar still rings true as he moves toward his Ph.D.:  ‘No one I have taught works as hard, thinks as deeply, reads as carefully, or writes as well as Tim Minella.’  All of us at the AHI are proud to have Tim return as this year’s Bakwin Fellow, and we are confident that Tim will soon be a distinguished and important scholar.”

“I am thrilled and flattered to receive this award from the Alexander Hamilton Institute,” said Mr. Minella.  “As a student of American history and the history of science, I share the aim of the Institute: to engage in thoughtful explorations of Western civilization both within and beyond the academy. The Bakwin Fellowship will enable me to conduct critical research for my doctoral dissertation at area archives. I thank the Institute and Mr. Bakwin for their generosity.”