Haverford's Latest Watson Fellow
English major Hunter Logan ‘23 has been awarded a coveted Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which provides a stipend to pursue a year-long research project outside of the United States.
Hunter Logan ‘23, an English major at Haverford College, has been awarded a coveted Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. The fellowship, established in 1968, provides graduating seniors with a stipend to pursue a one-year independent research project outside of the United States. Logan was selected as one of 42 recipients from a pool of 155 finalists in the 55th class of Watson Fellows. Finalists will visit a total of 54 countries as they carry out their respective projects.
Logan’s project, "Family Fables," will explore the impact of autobiographical stories and family histories on communities and cultures. He believes that everyone has a story to tell and wants to explore the many universal truths within people’s stories that transcend cultures and histories. "I always gravitate towards the autobiographical," Logan explains. "I'm always telling stories about my family, about my childhood, and I know that there's this large community around the world of storytellers and artists who are doing similar things."
His project will take him on a journey throughout Europe, starting in Restalrig, Scotland, where some of his ancestors hail from, and continuing to other parts of the United Kingdom, Spain, and France, and ending in Israel. In each place, he will meet with other storytellers, documenting his journey on film throughout the year. "I want to not only explore how my family history is connected to larger historical events but also learn what it means to live in solidarity and respect the cultures of the places that I’ll be entering and working in, letting go of assumptions about what it means to exist in that community,” says Logan.
Logan has always had a passion for film, but as a first-generation college student, he always planned to pursue a "safe" career path. However, the pandemic caused him to reevaluate his priorities, and he moved to Los Angeles for a gap year to immerse himself in the world of filmmaking. When he returned to Haverford for his senior year, he took as many film courses as possible and decided to apply to the Watson Fellowship, which was a unique chance to pursue his dreams of filmmaking.
At Haverford, Logan is deeply involved in the community, working in local elementary schools as an after-care aide and substitute teacher. “It's really been beautiful to have this community,” says Logan, who hails from Toledo, Ohio. He also credits working in the library and Haverford’s Center for Career and Professional Advising, for improving his research, application, and interview skills, which guided him through the extensive fellowship application process.
As Logan embarks on his journey, he hopes to inspire others to pursue their own passions. "I want to show people that if you're willing to work hard and to believe in yourself, you can make anything happen.”
As for his plans after the program: “I'm hoping to have completed my first feature-length film, which is a huge steppingstone for anybody who wants to enter the filmmaking industry. I think shopping the film around film festivals is going to be amazing, and I would never have been able to fund a project like this without this opportunity.”