Chester resident honored with Tufts U. prize

Mark Beckwith

Mark Beckwith of Chester has been awarded Tufts University’s Ellen C. Meyers Memorial Prize, given annually to students who have achieved high scholarship in the face of adverse circumstances.

The recipients are nominated by staff and faculty of the Massachusetts school. Out of the nearly 6,000 undergraduates at Tufts, Beckwith was one of only two recipients this year.

“Growing up, I thought of myself as artistic, not intelligent. I struggled with formidable depression and low self-esteem, and once I discovered alcohol and drugs, I was off to the races, not college,” says Beckwith. After decades of chronic spinal issues and a hit-and-run driver who fractured the vertebrae in his neck, Beckwith made the decision to walk away from a 27-year career as a highly successful hairstylist and businessman.

“Winning this award is much deeper than the money or prestige it provides,” says Beckwith. “It’s symbolic of the fact that I am bright after all and capable of accomplishing anything I set my heart to …”

Beckwith moved back to New England in 2017 and enrolled in community college. He then gained entrance into Tufts University and received a full scholarship. Beckwith’s advice to others contemplating a major life change? “Stop chasing a career and start following your calling. You’re more than you think you are.”

Beckwith is set to graduate from Tufts in May of ’22 with a bachelor’s in Sociology. He plans to earn his master’s degree and become a clinical therapist. He’s also working on his first book, a memoir as parable, on overcoming trauma.

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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  1. Caroline Levy says:


  2. Mary Jane Coolidge says:

    So happy to hear how well you are doing. Best wishes

  3. Judy V says:

    Congratulations Mark! This a wonderful accomplishment and a great message for others!

  4. Linda Diak says:

    Congratulations, Mark!