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Scholarship Fuels Focus on Academics and Access to Rewarding Opportunities

October 25, 2022

David Barbier Jr. came to Syracuse University determined to take advantage of academic opportunities and see the world. Pursuing bachelor’s degrees in international relations at the Maxwell School and television, radio and film at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, he has made good on his goal—thanks, in part to the generosity of those like Jeff Scruggs.

David Barbier
David Barbier Jr.

Barbier is among the recipients of the Otey and Barbara Scruggs Maxwell School Scholarship created by Scruggs and his wife, Robbin E. Mitchell, in 2019 to honor his late father. Otey Scruggs was an award-winning professor of history at Maxwell from 1969 until his retirement in 1995.

The scholarship has come with a priceless addition—mentorship from Jeff Scruggs, who is managing director and co-head of the public sector and infrastructure group in the investment banking division at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. as well as a University Trustee and member of the Maxwell Advisory Board.

“He has been such a support—I appreciate his listening ear and hearing his insights,” says Barbier, adding, “The financial liberty I was given because of scholarships and donors like him has allowed me to pour my focus into taking advantage of the many opportunities that come with being a student at Syracuse University.”

In his sophomore year, Barbier interviewed actor Wilmer Valderrama for the University Lectures series, started a talk show for the University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and received a fellowship from the Posse Foundation that enabled him to shadow the head of AMC Networks for six weeks.

Last year, he served as an orientation leader and traveled to South Korea and Spain through Syracuse Abroad. He also squeezed in a trip to Italy to work on a documentary about World War II.

Now, in his senior year, Barbier is spending a semester in Los Angeles and thinking about a future career that pairs his majors with telling the stories of people around the world.

“I’ve had incredible experiences and opportunities at Syracuse,” he says. “Thanks to the caring and supportive faculty and staff and generous friends of the University, I have been able to keep my focus where it should be. Here, it has always been, ‘How can we help?”

Published in the Fall 2022 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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