Two Norwich students hope to become Rhodes Scholars

Two Norwich students have been nominated to represent the University in the prestigious Rhodes Scholars selection process.

Jason B. Wilson
Jason B. Wilson

Jason B. Wilson, a Political Science major from Johnston, RI, and Kathleen Smith, a Mathematics major from Tacoma, WA, were picked from a field of over a dozen classmates by a panel of seven faculty members representing all academic divisions of the school. The students will find out later this month if they have been chosen to participate in the regional selection process, which includes candidates from colleges and universities in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, as well as Vermont.

According Norwich English Professor Andrew Knauf, chair of the Rhodes Scholars Selection Board, the students were judged on several criteria, including scholastic attainment during their time at the University, examples of love and success in sports, and truth, courage and kindness towards others. Each potential candidate had a GPA of 3.7 or greater.

The Rhodes scholarships, the oldest international fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. The first American scholars were elected in 1904.

Kathleen Smith
Kathleen Smith

Thirty-two American Rhodes Scholars are selected each year from among those nominated by selection committees in each of the fifty states. Through December 2004, applicants from more than 300 American colleges and universities had been selected as Rhodes Scholars.

Rhodes Scholars are elected for two years of study at the University of Oxford, with the possibility of renewal for a third year. All educational costs are paid on the scholar’s behalf by the Rhodes Trustees. Each Scholar receives, in addition, a maintenance allowance adequate to meet necessary expenses for term-time and vacations. The Rhodes trustees cover the necessary costs of travel to and from Oxford, and upon application, may approve additional grants for research purposes or study related travel.

In 1996 Tracy Jones became the first and only student from Norwich University to become a Rhodes scholar.

The two Norwich students have recently learned they did not
advance to the next (regional) round.