Rhodes Scholars 

By Barbara Black

Being a Rhodes Scholar carries lifelong prestige, but perhaps not at Concordia. Every year only a few students turn out for an information session on the most famous scholarship in the English-speaking world.

Communication Studies professor William J. Buxton, who is Secretary of the Rhodes Scholarship Committee for Quebec, suggests that the answer may lie in the lack of institutional support for applicants.

“McGill takes it very seriously,” Buxton said. “ Not only do they identify potential applicants early on during their studies at McGill, but a series of information workshops is provided.

As secretary, Buxton oversees the annual selection process for Quebec’s Rhodes Scholars and serves as a liaison between the Rhodes Trust in Oxford and the Quebec constituency.

The Rhodes is one of the oldest international scholarships for postgraduate study. It is funded from the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British empire-builder who set its tone. Rhodes Scholars are supposed to be nerds plus — well-rounded individuals who may be the leaders of tomorrow.

The scholarship provides full funding (tuition, living expenses and some funding for travel) for two years of study at Oxford University, with a possible extension for a third year.

Ninety-three Rhodes Scholar-ships are awarded each year by 18 countries. Eleven scholarships are awarded in Canada, two of them designated for Quebec.

Concordia has produced eight Rhodes Scholars. They are Robert Calderisi, (Loyola, BA History, 1968), Robert Warren, (Loyola BA History, 1970), Leon Benbaruk (L BA History 1972), Robert Bradley (BSc Mathematics, 1979), Gilly Filsner (BA Sociology, 1984), Boris Maksimov (BA Political Science, 1985), Siobhan Harty (BA Political Science, 1989) and Carol Mc-Queen (BA History, 1995).

Those who are thinking about applying should contact Patricia Verret at the School of Graduate Studies.


Concordia University