Harvard Shut Out of U.S. Rhodes Awards

For the first time since 1930, no Harvard students have been named American scholars in the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship program.

This year's 32 American Rhodes scholars, announced Saturday, were chosen from 28 different universities--the broadest range of educational institutions in the 98-year history of the competition. For the first time, scholars were named from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Wheaton College and Yeshiva University.

"I think it was inevitable that one year Harvard would not have a Rhodes scholar. I wouldn't read any great significance into this," said Elliot F. Gerson '74, American Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Trust.


Yale University, which has three winners, has the most scholars in the country for the second year in a row.

Tegan S. Shohet '01, of Mather House and Toronto, Ontario was named a Canadian Rhodes scholar in a separate process last week.

Although no Harvard students won the American Rhodes award, four were named finalists out of 95 total finalists for the competition.

Harvard endorsed 40 students for the award this year, a more than 10 percent increase over 1999. According to Paul A. Bolhmann, director of fellowships at the Office of Career Services, this increase was prompted by a visit from Gerson and the warden of Rhodes House in Oxford, "encouraging Harvard to be more liberal in its endorsements."

Harvard officials had cut back on the number of endorsements in recent years, which they felt had become excessive. Gerson said he visited Harvard because he wanted to dispel this misconception.

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