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College’s First Female Rhodes Scholar to Lead One of World’s Most Prestigious Scholarship Programs

Elizabeth Kiss '83
Elizabeth Kiss ’83, Davidson’s first female Rhodes Scholar, president of Agnes Scott College, and now, the first woman to lead the Rhodes Trust.

Elizabeth Kiss ’83, Davidson’s first female Rhodes Scholar, has been tapped to lead the Rhodes Trust. Kiss will end her 12-year tenure as president of Agnes Scott College this summer to become the trust’s first woman warden and CEO.

"Elizabeth applied for the Rhodes in 1982, the year I was appointed Rhodes advisor," said Hansford Epes, registrar emeritus and professor emeritus of German and of humanities. "Already a mature thinker, graceful writer and respected leader, she fortunately needed little advice as she became the first Davidson woman to win a Rhodes Scholarship."

A philosophy major at Davidson, Kiss went on on to earn a BPhil and DPhil in philosophy from the University of Oxford.

“I am thrilled and deeply honoured to be given this opportunity to join the Rhodes Trust at such an exciting time in its history. Now more than ever, we need knowledgeable and courageous leaders from all walks of life who stand up for the world. Thanks to its bold vision and dynamism, the Rhodes Trust is uniquely positioned to serve this need,” Kiss said in today’s announcement by Agnes Scott College. “I look forward to building on the remarkable accomplishments of our current Warden, Charles Conn, and working to continue to expand the number and geographic reach of the Rhodes Scholarships, deepen the lifelong connections among Rhodes Scholars past and present, and enhance our impact through global partnerships including those with The Mandela Rhodes Foundation, the Atlantic Institute, and the Schmidt Science Fellows.”

Kiss will return to Oxford, where the prestigious scholarship program is based. There, she will have overall responsibility for selecting and developing Rhodes Scholars.

In December, the Chronicle of Higher Education named Kiss on its 2017 list of the most influential people in U.S. higher education.

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Additional Coverage

"Times Higher Education" Interview With Elizabeth Kiss

Agnes Scott College President to Lead Rhodes Trust 

Inside Higher Ed: U.S. College President Named to Lead Rhodes Trust

Game Changer: Elizabeth Kiss '83