When his college opportunity came knocking in 2011, Stuart Richardson admits that neither he nor his parents knew what to expect at the University of Michigan.

But after touring the campus, which he described as vibrant and chaotic, he knew instantly that he wanted to become a Wolverine.

(Photo by Daryl Marshke, Michigan Photography)

He’s never regretted that decision. In fact, he seized upon the opportunities by traveling twice to Europe through U-M programs, learning German and Turkish, writing two plays, and meeting “a slew of amazing and talented people.”

“Michigan has only opened up more doors for me,” said Richardson, a 22-year-old senior from Alpena. He graduates this spring with a double major in international studies and honors German.

The first door presented itself unexpectedly during his freshman year. A student living on the same floor in West Quad won an award for a play and urged Richardson to write.

“I really like writing plays about the relationships between two or three people,” he explained. “My philosophy when it comes on writing drama is that my plays should only take place in one setting. That’s really my only rule. Everything else is more fluid.”

Richardson has won two Hopwood Awards for drama. The Hopwood Awards are the oldest and most prestigious college writing prizes in the country.

After graduation, Richardson plans to continue writing — not just plays, but short stories and “academic-type books.”

First, aided by a scholarship, Stuart will continue his studies at Sciences Po in Paris to pursue a master’s degree in international security.

Richardson said he couldn’t have succeeded without his friends and several faculty members, including lecturer and playwright Henry Greenspan, whom he met his freshman year in a writing seminar about the Holocaust. 

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