Bibi MacDougall ‘20, United Kingdom, received an unexpected surprise to help her follow her passion.
As the recipient of this year’s Sally Martin Prize, which traditionally includes being the student speaker during United World College-USA graduation, Bibi plans to use the $2,000 scholarship to move to London for a gap year to pursue an acting career.
“With the hectic life that UWC brings, I’m proud to have gotten through to the final round of applications/auditions at both the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts” she said. “I intend on moving to London to work and build up my acting resume.”
Twenty-one students from the Class of 2020 applied for the prize by writing 500-word essays about “Looking Forward and Looking Back.” Students were asked what they would say to the Class of 2035 should they be invited to speak at their graduation.
In keeping with tradition, Victoria Mora, president of UWC-USA, announced the winner during the May 1 virtual Second-Year Dinner. Bibi will give her speech during the virtual graduation on May 23.
“I was simply shocked,” Bibi said about receiving the prize named in memory of Sally Martin, a young Englishwoman, good friend and neighbor of UWC-USA. Upon her death in 1993, her family created the Sally Martin Memorial Endowment. The income from the endowment funds an annual prize intended to assist with the student’s ongoing education.
“I really was not expecting to win the award so when Victoria (in a pre-recorded video) started to hint towards who it could be, I just started laughing in disbelief, I suppose,” Bibi said. “When they released the video it was around 1 a.m. here so I think it was safe to say my mum was slightly concerned when I started shouting and celebrating.”
Bibi looks forward to living with UWC friends in London.
“I’m looking forward to being in London and furthering my pursuit of a career in the performing arts and the broader world of theater,” she said. “I was really grateful to receive the award.”