|The Bull Run
Civil War Round Table to Award its Eighth Annual
by Nancy Anwyll
This year’s Bull Run Civil War Round Table $2000 Scholarship is being granted to a graduating senior from Westfield High School (Fairfax County) - Jacob Fajer. Jacob has a deep interest in American history, and because of his high academic achievements and numerous extra-curricular activities in high school, his chances to succeed in college are very high, indeed. Jacob is the son of Sue Fajer and the late Salo Fajer of Oak Hill, Virginia. Both Mrs. Fajer and her son are members of the Bull Run Civil War Round Table.
Jacob proved to the Scholarship Committee his interest in all areas of history, including American, Civil War, European, World, and Medieval history. He received grades of “A” in all of his history courses and has participated in several activities related to history. In addition to being a member of the Bull Run CWRT, he is a member of the National History Honor Society, has tutored history, and has volunteered at the Falls Church Civil War Days, as well as the Fairfax History Day. He won an award at his school’s National History Day and achieved Regional Qualifier status. In addition, he won an award in his World History class.
Because of Jacob’s work ethic and talents, he has attained a Grade Point Average of 4.2 at Westfield and has earned the distinctive Advanced Placement Diploma, which is given to a student for completing nine AP courses. In addition to these, he was given a Westfield Academic Achievement Award and was involved in the Academic Bowl Team on which he was co-captain. Other extracurricular activities in which he participated and excelled included serving in the drum line of the school’s marching band, working with the Children’s Science Center, and achieving Eagle Scout rank for his work with Boy Scouts.
Jacob’s essay, written for the BRCWRT scholarship, was entitled Chaos and Confusion on the Manassas-Gainesville Road. He described the conflict between Gen. Fitz John Porter and Gen. John Pope at the Battle of Second Manassas, a complicated topic which many students his age would not have tackled. Two primary sources that he used were the “Official Records of the War of the Rebellion” and the letter that Gen. Pope wrote to Fitz John Porter on August 29, 1862. There were good second- ary sources also, one of which was the John J. Hennessy book “Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas.”
Our application requirement asks that a student visit a local historical sign and write about the event described on the sign. The sign that Jacob visited was one erected by the Prince William County Histori- cal Commission entitled The Union Fifth Corps at Dawkins Branch, which is located west of Manassas on the Wellington Road at Virginia Meadows Drive, east of Gainesville. This sign’s text helps a person to understand what happened at the time of the issuance of Pope’s controversial “joint order,” which confused his subordinate staff, and may have led to the Union’s loss of this battle.
Jacob’s adult recommendation was written by a history teacher, Mr. Kenneth Larson, who describes Jacob as being exceptional in understanding events in history, as well as what those events may do to impact the future. He ends his letter by saying this: “I can recommend no other student that I’ve ever taught higher than Jacob Fajer.”
The University of Virginia granted Jacob a Jefferson Book Award, given by UVA alumni to high school students who “display leadership and an unwavering commitment to serving the common good” and who also embody “Jefferson’s commitment to innovation, creativity, and the spirit of discovery.” Jacob will enter UVA this fall and intends to teach history after graduating from the university.
This is the eighth year that the Bull Run CWRT has given a scholarship. The first winner in 2012 was Taylor McConnell from West Springfield H.S. Other winners since then were: Caroline Howard from Osbourn Park H.S.; Brooke Roberts from Robinson H.S.; Aaron Pirnat from Herndon H.S.; Alexander
All applicants submit a grade transcript, description of extra-curricular activities, an essay, a ‘selfie’ taken at a local historical sign, and an adult recommendation. The top few are interviewed before the Scholarship Committee chooses one winner. Members of the Scholarship Committee are Charlie Balch; Brian McEnany; Mark Knowles, and myself, Nancy Anwyll, who serves as chair of the group.
BRCWRT — Vol. XXVII, Issue 5, JUNE-JULY 2020