The group recently chosen for the Rhodes Scholarships has aroused undergraduate interest in the type of men now being awarded this coveted honor, and has marked an unfortunate trend away from the all-round type of recipient. Much concern over this trend has been based on sentiment and on opposition to a change of any kind, but criticism of the subordination of leadership, athletic ability, and personality to scholastic attainment is well founded.
By giving the youth of England and America an opportunity for better mutual understanding, Rhodes hoped to cement the bonds between the two countries. Inasmuch as the present type of Rhodes Scholar is often too immature or one-sided, a broader type of man, more capable of truly representing the American nation, should be chosen; and in the present-day world, this is particularly important. Intelligent cooperation among the democracies of the world is essential to world peace, and such cooperation will never be possible while it remains in the realm of academic theorizing. Men of practical ability, willing to play an active role in world affairs, are essential; and the awarding of Rhodes Scholarships should be directed toward this end.
The Selection Committees should endeavor to return to a fairer balance between athletics, leadership, and scholastic ability. Qualities of leadership are best developed through frequent contact with one's fellow men and through extra-curricular life in a great university rather than through constant haunting of a library. While it is obvious that high intellectual ability is essential, the recent overemphasis on this qualification and the tendency to sacrifice the other qualities which Rhodes envisaged are unfortunate.