Rhodes Scholars 2015: Ivies Dominate, but Publics Earn Seven

Editor’s Note:  Soon we will publish individual profiles of 2015 Rhodes Scholars who are also public honors students.

Yes, and to no one’s surprise, the Rhodes Scholarships continue to be awarded disproportionately to students from Ivy League universities, along with those from MIT and Stanford.  But outstanding students from Alabama Birmingham, Maryland, Michigan, UNC Chapel Hill, Tennessee Chattanooga, UT Austin, and UW-Eau Claire managed to earn what is probably the most prestigious scholarship in the world.   Six of the seven are present or former students in their schools’ honors programs or colleges.

The latest list of Rhodes Scholars (awarded in November 2014 for the year 2015) includes four recipients from Yale, three each from Brown and Princeton, two from Harvard and one each from Cornell and Dartmouth, giving the Ivy League 14 of the 32 awards won by American Students for 2015.  Rhodes awards for the year 2014 included 11 winners from Ivy schools; in 2013 there were 16.

The University of  Virginia has had three Rhodes Scholars in the two previous years, but none in 2015.  UVA and North Carolina at Chapel Hill are the leaders among all state universities in the number of Rhodes Scholars earned by their graduates.  UVA has 50 Rhodes Scholars, and UNC Chapel Hill now has 49.

Below are the districts from which the 2015 scholars were chosen.  Note that ALL BUT ONE of the winners from Districts 1 through 4 are from the Ivy League, illustrating yet again how difficult it is for public institutions in those districts to break through the Ivy Curtain and win the Rhodes award.

District 1 – Boston, MA
(Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont):  The two winners are from Harvard and MIT.
District 2 – New York, NY
(Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey): The two winners are from Yale and Harvard.
District 3 – New York, NY
(New York):  The two winners are from Yale and Princeton.
District 4 – Philadelphia, PA
(Pennsylvania, Rhode Island): The two winners are from Yale and Brown.
District 5 – Washington, DC
(Delaware, Maryland/DC): The two winners are from Maryland and Stanford.  The Maryland scholar is Fang Y. Cao, a student in the Integrated Life Sciences Program in the U of Maryland Honors College.
District 6 – Atlanta, GA
(Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina): The two winners are from UNC Chapel Hill and Dartmouth.  The UNC scholar is Sarah M. Bufkin, a former Honors Carolina student.
District 7 – Birmingham, AL
(Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi): The two winners are from UA Birmingham and Yale.  The UAB scholar is Ameen Barghi, an honors college student.
District 8 – Houston, TX
(Oklahoma, Texas): The two winners are from Brown and UT Austin.  The UT Austin scholar is Sai P. Gourisankar, a Plan II honors student.
District 9 – Indianapolis, IN
(Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia): The two winners are from Wabash College and Notre Dame.
District 10 – Chicago, IL
(Illinois, Ohio): The two winners are from Cornell and the Air Force Academy.
District 11 – Chicago, IL
(Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia): The two winners are from Michigan and UW-Eau Claire.  The Michigan scholar is David S. Moore, a mechanical engineering major.  The UW-Eau Claire scholar is honors program student Tayo A. Sanders II.
District 12 – St. Louis, MO
(Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee): The winners are from MIT and Tennessee-Chattanooga.  The UT-Chattanooga scholar is honors college student Robert A. Fisher.
District 13 – Colorado Springs, CO
(Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming): The two winners are from Johns Hopkins and Stanford.
District 14 – Seattle, WA
(Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington): The two winners are from Santa Clara University and the University of Puget Sound.
District 15 – San Francisco, CA
(Arizona, California-North, Hawaii, Nevada): The two winners are from MIT and Princeton.
District 16 – Los Angeles, CA
(California-South): The two winners are from Brown and Princeton.