The latest cohort of Rhodes Scholars was announced on Saturday. This year’s class of 32 students from the United States was chosen from 840 candidates who were approved by 244 different colleges. The 2023 class of scientists will begin their studies at the University of Oxford in October, joining scholarship recipients from more than 60 other countries.
Usually the Rhodes Trust announces the newest Rhodes Scholars from the United States shortly before Thanksgiving each year. Considered the most prestigious international scholarship for American graduates, the award was established in 1903 through the final will and bequest of Cecil John Rhodes. The first batch of scientists began their studies in Oxford in 1904. Students from all over the world compete for the more than 100 scholarships that are now awarded annually.
The value of a Rhodes Scholarship depends on the academic field and degree (BA, Masters, Doctoral) a student chooses. The award includes payment of all tuition and fees at Oxford, along with a stipend to cover necessary expenses during your stay in Oxford, as well as holidays, and transport to and from England.
The total value of the scholarship averages about $75,000 per year and can be as high as $250,000 for scholars who remain in Oxford for four years in certain departments.
The selection takes place in two phases. First, candidates submit an application package, which must include an endorsement from their home school or university. More than 2,500 students started the application process this year.
Then, selection committees in 16 U.S. districts interview those considered to be the strongest candidates and make the final choices. For the third consecutive year, the winners were selected through a virtual process. Elliot F. Gerson, US secretary to the Rhodes Trust, said he hoped to return to face-to-face interviews and selection next year.
The selection criteria include:
- academic excellence;
- the energy to fully utilize your talents;
- attributes such as truth, courage, kindness and devotion to duty;
- and the moral power of character and instincts to lead.
Initially, according to Rhodes’ will, scholarships were only open to “male students,” a restriction that didn’t change until 1976. To date, 643 American women have been selected as Rhodes scholars.
The stock market has also come under fire for the white supremacist views of Rhodes and the historical absence of black recipients, an exclusion that only began to change in the second half of the 1900s.
The Scholars of 2023
The full list of Rhodes Scholars from USA can be found here. Harvard University had the most scholars this year, with six. It was followed by Yale University with five, Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with three scholars each. Georgetown University and the United States Military Academy each had two scientists. In all, the 32 scholars came from 17 different American institutions.
As usual, the class of 2022, with 16 men and 16 women, is a diverse group in terms of backgrounds, interests and activities. It includes violinists and varsity rowers, trumpeters and cross-country skiers, pianists and football players. Volunteers, interns, activists, published authors and campus leaders feature prominently among the recipients. As examples:
- Irena Petryk, from Northwestern University, is the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants. She recently did an internship at the Council of Economic Advisers.
- As long as Jack Cook is developing a digital cognitive assessment for diagnosing patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
- Natalie Navarretefrom the University of Georgia, interned for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence and the office of Congresswoman Ted Deutch.
- Marie Rose Sheinermaneditor-in-chief of The Daily Princetonianalso worked as an intern at The Miami Herald where she was part of the team of reporters who received the Pulitzer Prize in 2022 for their coverage of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium in Surfside, Florida.
- Isabella Turillii, graduated from Georgetown University, worked as a researcher at the Council on Foreign Relations and also worked as an EMT.
- Duke University’s Shreyas Hallur worked as a project consultant at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center and as a student researcher at the Duke Autism Center.
- Nathaniel MR Ross, a senior at Arizona State University, completes four majors: BS degrees in biological sciences, applied quantitative sciences and political science, and a BA degree in history. Nathaniel, an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, was the youngest person to qualify for the vote in city history when he ran for a seat on the Mesa City Council.
Of the 2023 cohort, Elliot Gerson said: “The Rhodes scholars representing the United States this year … will attend Oxford University in England in October to earn graduate degrees in the breadth of the social sciences, humanities, and biological sciences.” and physical sciences.They already inspire us with their achievements, but even more so with their values-based leadership and selfless ambitions to improve their communities and the world.”
Including this year’s recipients, 3,610 Americans have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships, representing more than 327 different colleges and universities. About 2,000 American Rhodes scholars live in all parts of the US and abroad.