Of all the criteria the late Cecil Rhodes set forth for determining the winners of the prestigious scholarship that bears his name—academic achievement, integrity, leadership potential, and so on—there is one for which college athletes appear to be particularly well-prepared: physical vigor.
The Rhodes Trust this week named 32 scholars from the United States. Nine are athletes, including one from Ursinus College and one from the University of California at Irvine, who are the first students from those institutions to win the scholarship.
Aakash Shah, a former Division III track athlete who graduated in May with a degree in inequality studies, biology, and neuroscience, is Ursinus’s first Rhodes Scholar. Megan Braun, a former goalie for Irvine’s Division I water-polo team, who graduated last month with a degree in history, is that university’s first winner.
The other new Rhodes Scholars who compete or have competed on NCAA teams are:
Caroline Barlow, a senior cross-country runner and member of the 2009 national-champion triathlon team, who studies oceanography at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Tamma Carleton, a cross-country runner who competed at Lewis & Clark College, a Division III institution, before graduating last year with a degree in economics—and a conference title in the 10K.
Gabrielle Emanuel, a Dartmouth alumna who was a member of the college’s equestrian team before graduating this year with a degree in history.
Andrew Lanham, a cross-country runner at Haverford College who graduated last year with degrees in English and philosophy.
Laura Nelson, a senior at the University of Virginia who plays field hockey and studies political and social thought.
Baltazar Zavala, a senior football player at Harvard who studies engineering sciences and neurobiology.
William Zeng, a member of the lightweight crew team at Yale, where he is a senior majoring in physics.