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​Rhodes Scholar Events during the 2016 Alumni Weekend in North America

The Rhodes Scholar community was strongly represented during the 2016 University of Oxford Alumni Weekend in Washington, D.C. from 8 to 10 April. On 9 April, several Rhodes Scholars and Trustees participated as part of the Academic Programme at the Omni Shoreham Hotel:

  • Elliot Gerson (Connecticut & Magdalen 1974), Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs, International Partners at the Aspen Institute, chaired a panel featuring E.J. Dionne (Massachusetts & Balliol 1973), American journalist and political commentator, Professor Marc Stears, Tutorial Fellow in Politics at University College, and the Chancellor of the University, Lord Patten of Barnes, on "Politics of the Extremes".
  • Professor Dame Carol Robinson of the Chemistry Department and Rhodes Trustee and Professor Matthew Freeman, Head of the Dunn School of Pathology, led a discussion about the fundamental breakthroughs that underlie the medical revolution that's being driven by exciting discoveries on the inner workings of the human cell.
  • The Honorable Jim Himes (D-CT) (New Jersey & St Edmund Hall 1988), United States Representative and Winant Chair of US Government Professor Lisa Miller participated in a broad conversation on the current U.S.A. election cycle, the legislative challenges of the current era of polarization, and foreign affairs.
  • Elleke Boehmer of Wolfson College (South Africa-at-Large & St John's 1985), TORCH Director of Professor of World Literature in English, Dr Faisal Devji (St Antony's College), University Reader in Modern South Asian History, and Dr Imaobong Umoren (Pembroke College), Women in the Humanities Early Career Fellow, looked at the rich contributions of the Indian, Caribbean and African students, writers, entrepreneurs, anthropologists and activists to British cultural life, and took Professor Boehmer's exciting new cultural history Indian Arrivals 1870 - 1915 as a flashpoint for their conversation during their panel "Enigmas of Arrival".


To end the academic day, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Louise Richardson, explored the qualities necessary for leadership with a panel composed of three Rhodes Scholars: the Honourable Chrystia Freeland PC MP (Prairies & St Antony's 1991), Minister of International Trade of Canada, Susann Rice (Maryland & DC & New College 1986), National Security Advisor of the USA and Professor Ngaire Woods (New Zealand & Balliol 1987), Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government.

In the evening, the American Association of Rhodes Scholars (AARS), the Canadian Association of Rhodes Scholars (CARS) and the Rhodes Trust hosted a reception at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel with more than 100 Scholars in attendance. Steve Crown (Washington & Queen's 1980), President of AARS, and Mark Schaan (Manitoba & New College 2002), President of CARS, welcomed all participants.On 10 April, the Rhodes Trust hosted a breakfast in the same venue. Elliot Gerson (Connecticut & Magdalen 1974), the American Secretary to the Rhodes Trust, gave an overview of the status of the Scholarships in the USA. The Warden, Charles Conn, also updated the participants on the most recent strategic developments of the Rhodes Trust. Finally, the participants also had the opportunity to engage in a session of the Character, Service and Leadership Programme which Scholars in residence experience during their time in Oxford. Michael Lamb (Tennessee & Trinity 2004) introduced the programme, which was shaped together with a group of Scholars, including JanaLee Cherneski, Ian Desai and Max Harris. The theme was on the impact and significance of friendship, which seemed particularly apt for this inspiring reunion weekend.