The Philosophy Department is deeply saddened at the loss of Granvil George ('11), a senior Philosophy and Neuroscience double-major from Charleston, West Virginia.
Granvil graduated with highest honors from George Washington High School in Charleston, WV. He was the WV Advanced Placement Scholar and a National Merit Finalist. He came to W&L in 2007 on a J. Edward Lewis Memorial Honor Scholarship. He was on both the Dean's List and Honor Roll every term that he was at W&L, and was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, the first-year honor society. In his sophomore year he was elected a University Scholar and declared majors in Philosophy and Neuroscience. He was awarded the University College, Oxford Exchange Scholarship for 2009-2010. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
Granvil was the logistics chair of the student society "Action. Change. Tomorrow." He played piano and tutored English for Speakers of Other Languages. He was a member of the Generals' Christian Fellowship and the the Reformed University Fellowship. He also worked in the mail room and in his sophomore year he served as a resident advisor in Davis Hall. He was a member of the all-philosophy Ethics Bowl Presentation Team in Febuary 2009. He presented a paper at the annual UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate philosophy conference in April 2009. Over the summer worked for the Neuroscience program at W&L and achieved a perfect score on the GREs.
At Oxford he took courses in psychology and cognitive science in his first term. His tutor at Univ, Dr. Nick Yeung, had this to say about him in his tribute:
"I taught Granvil for the term in Cognitive Psychology, and was just as impressed as his other tutors here. Almost all of our students at Oxford are hardworking, many are clever and capable of excellent work, but only a very few have the intellectual engagement and spark that were obvious in Granvil: Our tutorial discussions were genuinely challenging and interesting because he was always prepared to develop and defend his own ideas and also -- always very politely, but with real rigour -- to probe and question mine. When I say that he kept me on my toes, I mean this as the highest praise, because it speaks to his originality of thought and questioning approach that marked him out as a very talented young man."
Granvil was was visiting Prague in December 2009 when he became ill. He was diagnosed as having germ cell cancer in the UK. He returned to Charleston, WV, in early January and underwent chemotherapy there and at Indiana University. During this time he worked on papers for his tutor in philosophy at Univ, submitted a paper to the undergraduate philosophy journal, "Stance", applied for a Bienecke fellowship, and submitted his proposal for his Honors Thesis in Philosophy.
A memorial service for Granvil was conducted at the Forks of Coal Baptist Church in Alum Creek, WV, on Sunday, September 26.
A second memorial service was conducted at W&L in Wilson Concert Hall on Friday, October 1, 2010. For the program, see here.
For the W&L tribute to Granvil, see here.
For his obituary in The Charleston Gazette, see here.