UPS’s Rathje named a Rhodes Scholar

Shirley Skeel
The Suburban Times

University of Puget Sound senior William J. Rathje ’15 has been named a Rhodes Scholar. The accomplished student from Lake Oswego, Ore., is Puget Sound’s third Rhodes Scholar, and the first to also be offered a British Marshall Scholarship.

Rathje will join 31 other young men and women who will represent the United States as 2015 Rhodes Scholars. The Rhodes Scholars, selected from a pool of 877 candidates, receive full financial support to pursue degrees at the University of Oxford in England. They were announced on Saturday, Nov. 22, by the Office of the American Secretary of The Rhodes Trust.

Majoring in both computer science and English literature, Rathje attends Puget Sound as a Lillis Scholar, which provides full tuition, room, and board for students of exceptional academic promise. As a Rhodes Scholar, he will study for a Master of Science in computer science at Oxford beginning in October.

Rathje has pursued a broad liberal arts education at Puget Sound, exploring his talents in theater performance, poetry, musical performance and composition, the sciences, and applied science.

“I have seen no Rhodes candidate more enthusiastically supported by faculty colleagues than Billy,” said Puget Sound President Ronald R. Thomas. “We expect that Billy’s work in computer science will be applied across his wide-ranging talents—theater performance, English literature, musicals, and the sciences. We believe Billy will be an E. O. Wilson of his generation, the kind of revolutionary figure who transforms fields of knowledge.”

A Goldwater Scholar and a junior member of Phi Beta Kappa, Billy has conducted research in proteomics, biochemistry, and computer science, and has developed four applications for iOS and Android, attracting than 15,000 downloads. He also co-founded a literary magazine for new plays, and prior to arriving at Puget Sound, composed a full-length musical that was performed by a professional cast in Portland, Ore. He is a contributing writer to USA Today College and has a peer-reviewed publication in computer science.

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