Skip to Main Content
Alumni Q&A: Jory Fleming (South Carolina & Worcester 2017)
Tuesday 20 April, 2021

Alumni Q&A: Jory Fleming (South Carolina & Worcester 2017)

by Jory Fleming

Q: What inspired you to write How to Be Human?

A: "When I was selected, I was surprised when many people showed interest in my story as an autistic Rhodes Scholar. I thought it would be great to share more about how autism shapes my way of thinking and interacting with other people and the world. I was a bit overwhelmed though, and am grateful for Rhodes alumni including Elliot Gerson and Walter Isaacson who helped me turn these thoughts into next steps that eventually turned into a book. I would never have expected to produce a book, but I am hopeful that readers can learn a bit about autism through the lens of one autistic individual."

Q: What’s been the best lesson you have ever learned?

A: "Most mornings in Oxford, I would attend morning prayer services at the Worcester College chapel. One of the opening lines of the liturgy reads "The night has passed, and the day lies open before us." The chapel community was instrumental in teaching me many lessons, but the ability to be open to the treasures and trials of each day is one I will always cherish and try my best to do going forward."

Q: What advice would you give to people considering applying for the Rhodes Scholarships?

A: "If studying at Oxford sounds like a good fit for you, apply! I hadn't heard of the Rhodes Scholarship before applying, but I never got the sense I wasn't the "right type" of person because I felt supported by the porters and staff at Rhodes House."

Q: What excites you about the future?

A: "I am excited to deepen my relationships with family and friends. I met many lovely people during my stay in Oxford, and I am looking forward to staying connected and sharing more memories together."

Jory Fleming recently completed an MPhil in environmental change and management at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Prior to this he completed a Bachelor of Science in geography and marine science at the University of South Carolina. Alongside his service dog Daisy, Jory is invested in children’s education and raising awareness about disabilities – and in his spare time, Jory is an avid bird watcher, board game enthusiast, and Scottish country dancer. Jory lives with several disabilities, including autism, and enjoys speaking with others about his way of seeing the world. Find out more about: How to Be Human.