Oliver Rothmann ’16, Awarded Jim Murray Scholarship

English Major Wins Essay Competition Named for Trinity Alumnus

Oliver Rothmann ’16, is busy getting ready to travel to England, where he’ll spend his junior year studying at the University of Oxford. His only regret about the upcoming journey is that he will have to miss out on a trip to southern California to accept in person the Jim Murray Scholarship Award he has just received.

An English major and resident of Avon, Connecticut, Rothmann is one of five college students to win the nationwide essay competition and be named a 2014 recipient of the award, which provides $5,000 toward college tuition for each recipient. Each year, a handful of students are selected to receive the scholarships in honor of Murray, who graduated from Trinity in 1943 and was named “America’s Best Sportswriter” 14 times by the National Association of Sportscasters & Sportswriters. Murray, who died in 1998, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990. This is the 15th year of Murray Scholarship Awards and almost $400,000 in total scholarship money has been awarded.

Rothmann’s essay was a tribute to Paul D. Assaiante, Trinity’s record-setting head coach of men’s squash and tennis, the Paul D. Assaiante Professor of Physical Education, and co-author of Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear. Rothmann became intrigued with squash last year as he and several dorm-mates in Jones residence hall decided to try playing the game, for which Trinity is so well known. Over Homecoming 2013, Rothmann had the opportunity to meet Gustav Detter ’10, who, as a Trinity freshman, won an historic squash match against a formidable Princeton competitor known as “the greatest squash player to ever play in college.” After Rothmann viewed a video of Detter’s 2006 match, he became even further hooked on the game. When it was time to consider a topic for the Murray Scholarship essay competition, interviewing and writing about Assaiante immediately sprang to mind. Read Rothmann’s winning essay here.

Rothmann, who has written for The Trinity Tripod, imagines it would be “an awesome thing” to combine two of his passions—writing and sports—as Murray did. But Rothmann is still weighing his post-college options and also is interested in exploring a career as a political analyst.

Meanwhile, Rothmann looks forward to his year abroad at the University of Oxford, where his studies will focus on English literature and international relations.

Photos by John Atashian.