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Rhodes Scholarship


Begun in 1902 through a bequest from Cecil Rhodes, an Oxford graduate and South African entrepreneur, the Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest, most prestigious and best known of all postgraduate scholarships. Initially established to bring physically vigorous future leaders, all white men and all from what Rhodes considered Anglo-Saxon countries (including the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Germany) to study at Oxford and to imbibe British culture and learning, the scholarship has changed over the years, placing less emphasis on athletics and including women and people of color. It remains one of the great honors awarded to college graduates.

The Scholarships

Two years of study at Oxford University with expenses including airfare, tuition, books, room and board, and spending money covered. Thirty-two scholarships are awarded through regional competitions in the United States.

Who Should Apply

Competition for the Scholarship is open to men and women who have passed their 18th, but not their 24th birthday by October 1 of the year of application. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen and have received a bachelor's degree by the time he or she takes up the scholarship.

Students with exceptional academic achievement, documented leadership ability, compassion for the disadvantaged, broad and deep cultural interests, and physical vigor (you need not be a varsity athlete) who wish to pursue a second degree (either a "Final Honours" B.A. or a master's degree, if your undergraduate preparation is exceptionally strong) should consider applying for a Rhodes Scholarship. Need is not an issue. It should be noted that the Rhodes Trust suggests that well qualified applicants would be those "likely to be admitted to one of the handful of most selective graduate schools in the United States in their area of primary interest."


The Rhodes Scholarship requires at least five and no more than eight letters of recommendation. At least four should be from faculty members who have taught the student, largely in the student's major; others should document leadership, concern for others and cultural interests. A letter of endorsement by the college is required. The college is not limited to a specific number of candidates it may endorse.

Application Deadline

Campus deadline is the first Friday in September. Application deadline is the first Wednesday in October.

The Rhodes Process

Rhodes applications must be received by the secretary of the region to which the student is applying. There are 16 districts, each of which will elect two Rhodes Scholars; the former state selection (or nomination) committees no longer are part of the selection process. Davidson students may apply in their state of residency or in North Carolina, which is in a district with Georgia and South Carolina. Each district will in all likelihood interview 12 to 16 candidates from among a pool projected to be roughly 65 applicants in the region. The selection typically consists of a reception on Friday the week before Thanksgiving, with interviews on Saturday, when decisions are made.

For More Information

Contact Fellowships and Scholarships Director Ted Ogaldez and visit the Rhodes Scholar website as it contains information about both the scholarship and Oxford.

Davidson Rhodes Scholars

2000 - Christian Mansfield Hunt
1996 -  Letitia Marie Campbell
1984 - Hunter Kelly Monroe
1983 - Elizabeth Esther Kiss
1977 - Patrick M. Baskin, Jr.
1974 - Albert S. Kyle IV
1972 - Daniel Gray Clodfelter
1969 - Randel Eugene Philips
1966 - William Mackey Clark
1963 - Daniel A. Carrell
1961 - Henry Grayson Shue
1958 - J. McManus
1956 - Fred Glen Myers
1953 - Hubert N. Cannon
1951 - James J. Murray, Jr.
1950 - Charles T. Davis
1936 - Carleton Chapman
1930 - Dean Rusk
1923 - Robert F. Davidson
1922 - J. McDowell Richards
1918 - Shelby T. McCoy
1906 - Benjamin R. Lacey
1903 - Wilson Plummer Mills