Canadian’s $120-million gift will widen reach of Rhodes scholarship

Paul Waldie
The Globe and Mail
London, UK

For more than 100 years, the Rhodes scholarship to Oxford University has been one of the most prestigious academic awards in the world, but it has been open only to students from the Commonwealth, the United States and Germany. Now, thanks to a $120-million donation from a Canadian businessman, the Rhodes scholarship could soon expand to students from China, Russia, Brazil and elsewhere.

The donation, to be announced on Thursday at Oxford, is from John McCall MacBain, a Rhodes scholar from Niagara Falls, Ont., and former owner of Trader Classified Media, which included Auto Trader among its many titles. The gift is the largest in the history of the Rhodes Trust, a charity that manages the scholarship, and part of it will go toward expanding the award.

“We are looking at potentially, in the future, in the next five to 10 years, expansion into China, expansion into Brazil and expansion into some of the other countries,” said Mr. McCall MacBain, who is also one of the charity’s trustees. “China, Brazil and Russia would be three key countries we’d like to expand it into.”

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