Six Students Clinch Rhodes

Harvard Boasts Most Scholars; Women Lead Men Overall

Harvard students won more Rhodes Scholarships than students from any other university once again this year, taking home five of the 32 American scholarships and one of the 10 Canadian prizes.

The six Harvard honorees are Ritu Sonia Batra '93 of Los Angeles; Matthew B. Boyle '93 of Shaker Heights, Ohio; Alexander M. Johnston '93 of Amherst, Mass.; Sarah L. Levine '93 of Brookline, Mass.; Ayelet K. Margalioth '93 of Montreal, Canada; and Andre C. Namphy '93 of Palo Alto, Calif.

This is the first time in the Rhodes Scholars program's 90-year history that women constitute the majority of winners. Two of the 17 women American Rhodes Scholars selected this year are from Harvard.

Batra says that in California, which led the nation in number of applicants, the key to winning was friendliness and a sense of humor. "People with the cut-throat attitude didn't make it through," said the history of science concentrator.

The same qualities were also the key to the survival of a Cabot House room which contained three finalists, including Boyle and Johnston.


"There wasn't a big sense of competition, particularly since we were all in different regions," says Johnston. The country is divided into eight regions, and four winners are chosen from each.

Though his room was relaxed, the atmosphere at the University Club of Chicago--where the final round of interviews for the Great Lakes region took place--was "intimidating," Boyle said.

Boyle, a Social Studies and Philosophy concentrator, plans to study philosophy while in England. He says the interviewers asked him about his field of study and surprised him by showing a lot of interest in one of his other passions, blues radio.

"They really wanted to see my Wolfman Jack impression," he says.

Margalioth says that the main difference between the Canadian and American selection committees is that the Canadians are "less combative in spirit."

Though the Canadian interviews are "challenging," they're "not like the hell of American ones," Margalioth said.

A Biology concentrator with plans to go tomedical school, Margalioth will be studyingYiddish Literature in England. She said that heryear at Oxford will be the only time she'll beable to study this. "I'm taking a year off, butnot quite," she said.

According to official Rhodes Scholarshipguidelines, the criteria for winning thescholarship are intellectual and academicachievement, integrity, the energy to use talentsto the fullest, and participation and success insports.

Harvard has tied last year's feat of sendingsix students to Oxford on the Rhodes Scholarshipprogram. This year, Yale and Princeton can onlyclaim one Rhodes Scholar each.

Past Rhodes Scholars include President Clintonand President Neil L. Rudenstine.

This story was compiled with AP wiredispatches.