The recently announced 2022 class of American Rhodes Scholars includes six Black students and 22 women, setting the record for the most women ever to be selected for the award, which is considered the oldest and one of the most prestigious international fellowships in the world.
Those numbers are notable given that, despite being first established in 1902, the scholarship wasn't open to women until 1977. Likewise, although Alain Locke became the first African American to be awarded a Rhodes scholarship in 1907, there were virtually no other Black scholars selected until the 1960s.
"They are inspiring young leaders already, and we are confident that their contributions to public welfare nationally and globally will expand exponentially over the course of their careers in varied sectors and disciplines," said Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, of this year's 32-member American class. He noted that this was the second year all the scholars were selected virtually.
This year's class was chosen from a pool of 826 applicants who had been nominated by colleges and universities nationwide. They will commence their studies next fall at the University of Oxford, where they will join scholarship recipients from more than 60 other countries. Read about the scholars here.