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The Rhodes Scholarship Trust has refused to consider the nomination of a woman applicant.
Eileen Lach, a 22-year-old senior at the University of Minnesota was disqualified soon after her nomination was sent to the Rhodes Scholarship Minnesota State Committee.
Cecil Rhodes's will, which established the Rhodes Scholarship program, specified that scholarships be given only to men. William Barber, American secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust said yesterday.
The will is embodied in an act of the British Parliament, and American officials cannot after the conditions that it sets forth, Barber said.
"It seems that in a rational world these sorts of discriminations are absurd." Lach said yesterday.
She added that she was aware of Barber's position, but pointed out that the Rhodes will had been written before Oxford began to admit women. In light of other clauses in the will prohibiting discrimination on grounds of religion or race, the question of Rhodes's intent was "a moot point," she said.
Lach refused, however, to comment on the latest action until she has received official notice of the refusal.
Errett McDiarmid, Rhodes adviser at the University of Minnesota, said yesterday that he hoped Lach's nomination will help to prompt revision of the Rhodes will. "Oxford is more receptive to women today than at the time when Cecil Rhodes lived," he said.
McDiarmid said that Barber had made the decision on Lach's application after consultation with the Minnesota Rhodes Committee. Lach's rejection was not unexpected, he added.
Harvard would consider nominating a woman for a Rhodes Scholarship if she were recommended by the Endorsement, Committee which is composed of senior tutors. Katherine Hutchins, "Rhodes advisor at the OGCP, said yesterday.
However, she added that Barber has informed Harvard that female applicants would not be accepted. "Maybe Harvard can benefit from Minnesota's experience." Hutchins said.
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