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Military Order of the Crusades Honors SLU Scholarship Recipient

Military Order of the Crusades members recently presented Saint Louis University graduate student Thomas Morin with a certificate honoring a scholarship he received in 2023, supporting his academic achievement in Medieval and Renaissance studies.

The funds went toward Morin’s summer research trip to southern Italy, where he visited castles designed and built during the Crusades.

Thomas Morin stands with two representatives from the Military Order of the Crusades in a classroom holding a framed certificate.

Saint Louis University’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies Scholarship allows one student to go on a summer research trip each year, which can assist them in writing their dissertation. The Military Order of the Crusades has funded the scholarship for about seven years.

A man wearing sunglasses looks at the camera, with a stone castle in the background.
Thomas Morin poses with a castle, Castel del Monte, in Apulia, a southern region of Italy. 

Military Order of the Crusades representative Michael P. Schenk said that research funded through the scholarship helps promote the ancestors of the organization's members. These include Crusaders of Knightly or Higher Rank who participated in holy wars between 1096 and 1291.

The certificate Morin received included images of numerous coats of arms, each representing a family. 

“It’s an honor to receive this,” Morin said. “It’s very important for research support for those of us in graduate programs to get funding like this.”

Thomas Morin admires the Military Order of the Crusades certificate honoring his scholarship.
Thomas Morin admires the Military Order of the Crusades certificate honoring his scholarship. 

Morin said he is interested in how the design of castles built during the Crusades highlights the cultural connections made across the Mediterranean during the 13th Century.

“My research often requires access to archival documents,” Morin explained. “Many of these only exist in their original form, which can be over 900 years old. Therefore, I must physically go to the archives where they reside to study them. Looking at images for castles and other architecture can only do so much. In order to really study a site, you have to walk the ground yourself.”