Rhodes Scholars Active at Oxford's North American Reunion

Rhodes Scholars have been prominent in the Oxford University North American Reunion this weekend, contributing actively in University, college, and Rhodes events.

Highlights have included:

- The presentation to Mr Stephen Stamas (Massachusetts & Balliol 1953) of the award of Distinguished Friend of Oxford for his  many contributions to Oxford, including as a founding member of the Board of the American Friends of Oxford, and in helping Balliol College, the Ashmolean Museum, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships, the Rothermere American Institute, and Oxford Philomusica.

- A dinner hosted by Mr Paul Dodyk (Michigan & Magdalen 1959) in his capacity as Chairman of Americans for Oxford honouring Mr Len Blavatnik, whose great generosity to the University of Oxford has made possible the creation of the Blavatnik School of Government. Speakers at the dinner included Paul Dodyk, Professor Ngaire Woods (New Zealand & Balliol 1987), a Rhodes Trustee, in her capacity as inaugural Dean of the Blavatnik School, and (in a recorded message) Bill Clinton (Arkansas & University College 1968). Among those thanked by Mr Blavatnik for their support was Dr John Hood (New Zealand & Worcester 1976), now Chair of the Rhodes Trustees, for his active support as Vice-Chancellor of Oxford.

- Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof (Oregon & Magdalen 1981) was one of the speakers in a panel session in the North American Reunion discussing 'Leadership in the 21st Century'. The session was moderated by Ngaire Woods.

- Professor Peter Donnelly (Queensland & Balliol 1980) presented a session on 'The Genetic Revolution', to which exciting revolution he has contributed, including as Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics since 2007.

- Ms Rachael Wagner (Virginia & Balliol 2004) spoke in a session, led by Professor Peter Tufano (Dean of Oxford's Said Business School), on the topic 'Educating Leaders? Changing the Game'.

- Several Rhodes Scholars spoke at or hosted events for their colleges. These included, for example, Pulitzer Prize-winner Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee (India & Magdalen 1993) speaking at a Magdalen College dinner and Ngaire Woods speaking at a University College dinner, and the involvement of Mr Robert McKelvey (Connecticut & Merton 1959), Mr John Kirby (Virginia & Merton 1962), and Mr Peter Paine (New York & Christ Church 1957) and Rhodes Trustees Mr Don Gogel (New Jersey & Balliol 1971) and Mr Dominic Barton (British Columbia & Brasenose 1984) in hosting events for their respective colleges.

- Professor Timothy Endicott (Ontario & Corpus Christi 1983), in his capacity as Dean of the Law Faculty, was active in Law Faculty activities connected with the Reunion.

Dozens of Rhodes Scholars from around the United States and Canada took part in the Oxford University North American Reunion, including in college and Rhodes events associated with the Reunion.

The Board of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars (AARS) had a highly productive meeting in New York on Friday, including two hours of discussion with the Warden on developments in Rhodes Scholarship matters and in the excellent partnership between AARS and Rhodes House.

On Friday night, over 180 members of the Rhodes community gathered at the Tribeca Grand Hotel for a reunion celebration, at which speakers included the President of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, Mr Steve Crown (Washington & Queen's 1980), and the President of the Canadian Association of Rhodes Scholars, Dr Mark Schaan (Manitoba & New College 2002). Saturday night saw an LGBT Rhodes Scholars' drinks.

Today, over 200 members of the Rhodes community - from around the United States and Canada, and from ten other countries around the world - gathered for a Rhodes breakfast and forum on 'The Rhodes Scholarships for the 21st century'.

Participants heard updates from Rhodes Trustees Ms Karen Stevenson (Maryland/DC & Magdalen 1979) and Mr Don Gogel, and from the Warden of Rhodes House, Dr Donald Markwell (Queensland & Trinity 1981), on developments in activities for current Scholars and alumni, governance renewal, finance and fundraising, and possible creation of additional Rhodes Scholarships to reflect the needs and realities of the 21st century.

Members of the Rhodes community participated actively in lively small-group and plenary discussion of these issues, and made very constructive and supportive suggestions on a draft statement of strategy for the Rhodes Trust for the years ahead. These suggestions and others from members of the Rhodes community will prove very helpful to the Rhodes Trustees as they prepare for a strategy day in Oxford in June.

Click here to view the article which contains a gallery featuring photos from both the Friday evening reception and the Rhodes breakfast and forum .