Rhodes Scholarship Recipients Announced

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Oxford University is one of the oldest universities in the world, established in the last 12th century, with related local lectures from the 11th century ascribed to the university. Following the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, the Rhodes Scholarship was created which was the first large scale international scholarship.

Rhodes was a businessman and colonialist who founded the nation of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in southern Africa; the funds from his estate have continued to fund educational opportunities for global students for more than a century now.

Each November the newest Rhodes scholars are announced, an award which provides all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England, and may allow funding in some instances for four years. The first American recipients attended Oxford in 1904, the most recent recipients can start attending the university in October 2009.

32 American men and women have been announced as Rhodes scholars this month, students who were initially endorsed by their college or university. 1500 American students sought endorsement this year with 769 getting the nod from their schools. That list is narrowed down when applicants are asked to appear before the selection committee in their respective district (there are sixteen in the US) for an interview.

Committee interviews are designed to see if students meet certain criteria as outlined by Cecil Rhodes. This criteria includes: high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor. These basic characteristics are directed at fulfilling Mr. Rhodes’s hopes that the Rhodes Scholars would make an effective and positive contribution throughout the world. In Rhodes’ words, his Scholars should ‘esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim.’

Two winners are chosen from each U.S. District for a total of 32 American Rhodes scholar recipients annually. The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees, provides a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence in Oxford as well as during vacations, and transportation to and from England. The total value of the Scholarship averages approximately US$50,000 per year.

For a complete list of American Rhodes scholar recipients, please visit the press release page (*pdf) for that information. Congratulations to the winners!

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Categories: Scholarships