Luke Somers’08 YAA

“Camera in hand, viewfinder to my eye, I took in much of what made 2011 a historic, tragic, and unforgettable year in Yemen.”

Young Alumni Award
Luke Somers
Class of 2008
Awarded in 2018

The Beloit College Alumni Association is pleased to award the Young Alumni Award posthumously to Luke Somers, class of 2008, on this, his 10th reunion.

Luke lived in the in-between of curiosity and compassion. A friend once described him as someone who “refused to put himself or his life into easily understandable bite-size bits.” Truly present in the moment, Luke was known for his storytelling skills, using his entire body, and later a camera, to capture a story’s essence.

As a student, Luke majored in creative writing and spent two semesters studying abroad: one in Egypt, the other in Morocco. He then turned his attention to the Middle East, eventually traveling to Yemen to work as an English teacher, then again as a storyteller, using photography to document Yemen’s Arab Spring.

“I found myself within walking distance of the epicenter of a remarkable revolution in its earliest stages. Camera in hand, viewfinder to my eye, I took in much of what made 2011 a historic, tragic, and unforgettable year in Yemen. As sustained climaxes and hot bursts of emotion began to die down-and as the word revolution was heard with less frequency-I was presented with the opportunity to not only record but truly attempt to see more of the fascinating lives which surrounded me,” Luke wrote on his website in February 2011.

His photos, which were published in The Yemen Times and The BBC, among other international outlets, captured the pain, the joy, and the struggles of the people of Yemen. These photographs, made with skill and courage, form a rare and intimate archive of a nation enduring a time of chaos.

For leading a fulfilling life marked by high achievement, personal responsibility, and public contribution-in other words, for living the mission of Beloit College-the Alumni Association is proud to call Luke Somers an alumnus of Beloit College and honor him with the 2018 Young Alumni Award.

June 09, 2018

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