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Former BYU student wins prestigious scholarship worth up to $300,000

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation chooses fewer than 6 percent of applicants

A recent graduate of Brigham Young University has earned a prestigious academic scholarship that will cover his graduate school expenses up to $50,000 per year for each of six years.

Jordan Toone, of American Fork, Utah, graduated with a degree in Near Eastern Studies in August 2004 and is one of 76 Jack Kent Cooke scholars for 2005. Winners were selected from 1,300 applicants from 600 colleges across the country.

Toone will use the scholarship to further his studies of the Middle East at Oxford, after which he plans to earn a law degree and apply his training as a diplomat or legal advisor within the Middle East.

"When I tell my son about these years, I hope to tell him about some of my memorable experiences in England, the long nights of law school, and my relationships with leaders of the Arab world," said Toone, whose son was born while he and his wife spent the 2004-2005 academic year studying in Cairo, Egypt at the American University's Center for Arabic Studies Abroad.

Toone is BYU's first recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation scholarship, which was inaugurated five years ago. Last year, BYU student Ryan Keller landed a Gates scholarship, worth about $38,000, to study at Cambridge.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, established by the estate of the late businessman best known as the owner of Washington's pro football team, was founded in 2000 to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. Besides scholarships for students attending graduate and professional school, the foundation offers scholarships for students from community colleges who want to earn four-year degrees, scholarships to help high-achieving youth develop their talents and abilities throughout high school, and grants designed to increase educational access for outstanding students with financial need. For more information, visit

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