Two Norwich students nominated for Rhodes Scholarships

Two Norwich students have been nominated to represent the University in the prestigious Rhodes Scholar selection process. Javonne Gray, a Political Science major from North Miami Beach, Florida, and Jamie Colby, a Civil Engineering major from Hillsboro, New Hampshire, were picked from a field of 15 possible candidates by a panel of seven faculty members representing all academic divisions in the school. Their selection earned them the privilege of traveling to Middlebury College to compete against ten of the top students in the state for the chance to advance to the regional competition.

According Norwich English Professor Andrew Knauf, Chair of the Rhodes Scholar Committee, the students were judged on several criteria, including scholastic achievement during their time at the University, examples of passion and success in sports, and truth, courage and kindness towards others.

"The finalists in the process each were asked a set of twenty questions in an interview, and based on this criteria were selected to advance to the state competition," Knauf said. "Top students in the state competition will advance to the regional competition in Connecticut in December before the final Rhodes Scholars are chosen."

The world's oldest fellowship program, Rhodes Scholarships were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to study for two or three years at England's prestigious Oxford University, all expenses paid. The first American scholars were elected in 1904, and famous American Rhodes scholars include: NBA Hall of Famer and former presidential candidate Bill Bradley; writer/educator Alain Locke; singer/songwriter and actor Kris Kristofferson; diplomat Strobe Talbott, who helped negotiate an end to the war in Yugoslavia in 1999; and former President Bill Clinton.

Thirty-two American Rhodes Scholars are selected each year from among those nominated by selection committees in each of the fifty states. Through December 2000, applicants from more than 300 American colleges and universities had been selected as Rhodes Scholars. In 1996, Tracey Jones became the first and only student from Norwich University ever to become a Rhodes Scholar.

On November 22, Gray and Colby learned that they had not advanced to the regional competition.

malbury@norwich.edu, November 2004

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