Dual BA Students Peter Gorman and Eloise Rodger Named Trinity Foundation Scholars

Through a competitive process, Gorman and Rodger became the third and fourth students admitted to the Dual BA to join the illustrious Trinity Scholars community.

July 28, 2023

Dual BA students Peter Gorman ‘25GS and Eloise Rodger have been named Trinity Foundation Scholars. The competitive scholarship, which requires aspiring students to take voluntary exams in their second year of study, has been a storied feature of Trinity College Dublin since its Foundation Charter in 1592. Gorman and Rodger are the third and fourth Dual BA students to join the Trinity Scholars community, following Gabriel Mangum Lehmann ‘24GS and Sinziana Stanciu ‘24GS. 

Trinity Scholars are entitled to a range of significant benefits, including having course fees waived and being provided with free accommodation on campus. For Dual BA students, they receive a grant equal to EU tuition at Trinity for years three and four and a stipend equal to nine months of the Trinity housing rate for both years. “Being a Scholar is an enormous privilege as part of this program,” Gorman shared. “The Dual BA team has been incredibly supportive in translating the benefits of the scholarship to Columbia.”

There are also further rumored privileges, such as scholars having the right to graze their sheep on the Trinity green, wear their sword within campus grounds, and order a pint during final exams. Are these esoteric scholar perks myth or reality? That’s for our Trinity Scholars to discover!

“Being a Scholar is an enormous privilege as part of this program. The Dual BA team has been incredibly supportive in translating the benefits of the scholarship to Columbia.”

Given the prestige of the scholarship, it isn’t surprising that the application process is not for the faint of heart. Primarily, consideration for the scholarship is based on the taking of a voluntary set of exams in your major course of study, biological and biomedical sciences/neuroscience for Gorman and English studies for Rodger. Reflecting on the exams experience, both Gorman and Rodger noted the mental as well as academic challenge of taking on a significant additional study load alongside regular semester commitments. 

“You come into a wet Dublin winter and you’re trying to slog through semester exams and work commitments,” said Gorman, who noted that creating a consistent study plan and having comradery with friends who also took the exams helped him push through. He added, “At the end of the day, the biggest thing you can do to prepare yourself is to really love your subject.” 

Rodger shared similar sentiments, saying “They are a full-on set of exams that took place in the trenches of dark, damp January—and it took a fair bit of reminding myself why I was doing them.” But, she continued, “as trite as it sounds, what was really valuable to me was having trust in myself. I sat there, kept my cool, and knew I was going to give it everything I had. And that’s all you can do.”

Following the exams, Scholars are announced in a ceremony on the steps of Examination Hall in early May on “Trinity Monday,” a highlight of the school year calendar. Prospective scholars and supportive friends gather in the square and wait with baited breath to hear if their name will be called. “I had actually intended to skip the announcement ceremony as it was raining and I believed I had bottled the first of my exams,” recalled Gorman. “But my boyfriend convinced me to go. Afterwards I double-, triple-, quadruple- checked with him that I had indeed heard my own name, to what I can only assume was an insufferable extent. The day itself was a whirlwind, but I chiefly remember feeling happy and a little bit absurd throughout the festivities.” 

“I was in Front Square (the famously beautiful part of Trinity) with my four best friends in the torrential rain,” shared Rodger of the announcement. “I had put on quite an ugly, green puffer jacket since I reckoned I hadn’t got it—and thus, I thought no photos were going to be taken of me (some very funny photos were indeed taken of me!). When they said my name, I had one of those film-like moments where I just completely sobbed my eyes out. I proceeded to call basically everyone I know, before having a very surreal and joyful dinner with my professors.”

“I’m honored to join such an incredible legacy of Scholars at Trinity.” 

Besides the tangible benefits of receiving the scholarship, being named a Trinity Scholar also means becoming a part of a historic legacy of academic excellence. As Rodger put it, “I’m honored to join such an incredible legacy of Scholars at Trinity.” 

Trinity Scholars also find community with each other, as expressed by the separate sentiments Rodger and Gorman shared about each other. Reflecting on the benefits of aiming for and achieving the scholarship, Rodger said, “I also met Peter through the whole process, which I’m very pleased about because he’s a top tier fella, and it’s wild to think I’m in the same group as someone as bright as he is!”

Gorman echoed, “The Scholarship comes with a sense of community and a network of amazing individuals that I’m very lucky to have met; Eloise and I, for example, were immediate friends!”

Though Rodger has elected, for personal reasons, to continue at Trinity for years three and four and complete a single degree there, both she and Gorman are representative of the drive and excellence of Dual BA students, and the prestigious opportunities available at Trinity and Columbia to channel that passion into exciting accomplishment. As Gorman put it of the entire experience, “I suppose it’s easy to say in hindsight, but I’m so glad I took the leap of sitting the exams.”