Recipient has Ohio Valley ties
A FULBRIGHT Award has been granted to a college student with ties to the Ohio Valley and whose paternal grandmother, a native of Germany, also received a Fulbright in 1949.
Lucy Cayard, a 2013 graduate of Wheaton College in Massachusetts, is the recipient of a 2013 Fulbright Award to live and teach in Germany for a year. Her maternal grandparents are Frank and Lena Derosa of St. Clairsville.
Cayard didn’t intend to major in German when beginning her college studies although she was interested in the German language and culture, but she later changed her mind and now speaks the language fluently.
Her paternal grandmother, Leonora Balla Cayard, studied at Yale University after receiving a Fulbright. She later taught German at West Liberty State College (now West Liberty University) and Bethany College where she developed the foreign language department.
The Wheaton College student mentioned her paternal grandmother when interviewed for a college publication, “I think my grandma really wanted me to carry on the family relations with the German family after she died because I am the only person in my family who speaks German somewhat fluently. I wish she could have known that I won the Fulbright. I miss her. We had a really special relationship.”
Cayard credits her paternal grandmother, who died in December 2012, for her interest in the German language.
Her grandmother grew up in Marburg, Germany, and it is said that “only the hand of God and a friendly administrator” at Marburg University saved the family from a Nazi concentration camp. Her parents opposed the Nazi regime; also, her father was a professor of the Hebrew Language and Old Testament Literature at Marburg University, and her mother’s father was of Jewish descent.
A resident of the Wellington, Maine area, the Wheaton graduate was valedictorian of her high school class. She received the Charles A. Dana Scholarship and the Anne Huber Tripp ’56 Trustee Scholarship.
The reason that she signed up to take German in college was to fulfill a language requirement. She spent a semester in Germany during her sophomore year.
Cayard told the college publication: “Living in Germany was easily one of the best times of my life thus far. I enjoyed the independence and excitement of living on my own in the university city of Regensburg. I got to visit my family there regularly and to know them better.”
The daughter of Steve Cayard and the former Angela Derosa, she grew up in a rural part of central Maine and, according to the college publication, this inspired her “to develop an interest in all things green.”
Cayard, who has a minor in anthropology, was a member of the Outdoors Club, AfterTaste(a “slow food” organization) and SEEDS (Sustainable Education for Environmental Development). She also was an intern at the Upper Valley Food Cooperative in Woodstock, Vt., while in college.
She received the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany Award while a college freshman in 2010, and that award goes to students demonstrating excellence in their work in German classes.
Cayard was a tutor to German students at Wheaton, and she’ll be a teaching assistant in Germany for students in English.
The college publication notes when Cayard returns to the United States, she’ll decide whether to apply to graduate school or the Peace Corps to support international aid and education.
Her grandmother devoted her life to working for peace after seeing the suffering of children during bombing raids on Marburg during World War II. She studied foreign languages at Marburg University where she was interested in music and playing the violin. She was a member of the Marburg Symphony Orchestra.
While studying at Yale on the fellowship, she could combine her interests concerning languages and music. Her desire to work for peace brought her in contact with the New Haven Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. She became an instructor in German at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
The German native met her future husband, Wallace Cayard, while attending a peace training workshop. They were married in 1952 and moved to West Liberty in 1956 where he had accepted a teaching post.
She and her family became members of the Pittsburgh Friends Meeting, and she returned to teaching after her children began school. Initially, Cayard taught German on a part-time basis at West Liberty State College and then full-time at Bethany College where she developed the foreign language department and soon headed that department.
Still maintaining an interest in music, she was a member of the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. After retiring, the German native and her husband continued to work for peace. They moved to Sherwood Oaks. a retirement community near Pittsburgh, where she continued her interest in performing and teaching music.
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