AUBURN – Auburn University senior Jordan Anderson has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, one of the nation’s top academic awards, to do graduate work at the University of Oxford in England. He is just one of 32 recipients from the United States who will join fellow scholars from around the world.
“Jordan Anderson receiving the Rhodes Scholarship demonstrates the quality and caliber of student that Auburn University attracts to its academic programs,” said Provost Mary Ellen Mazey. “We are proud of Jordan and his academic and athletic accomplishments and know he will represent Auburn with distinction as he pursues his educational career at Oxford University.”
Anderson, who will graduate in May, holds a 3.91 grade point average and is a senior in the Department of Biological Sciences. The native of Roanoke, Va., has done organic chemistry research on the phototyzing effects of UV light on the eye. At Oxford, he plans to enroll in a master’s degree program in global health science, which is a program geared toward gaining an understanding of the health conditions in third-world countries. With a combination of his education at Auburn and at Oxford, Anderson hopes to pursue a life in medical mission work.
“This is a huge honor, and it goes without any kind of question that I’m extremely happy,” Anderson said. “It is something I am very proud of. I would not have made it this far without the help of the Auburn education I’ve received and the great and influential people at this university that have helped me obtain this level of maturity.”
While a student at Auburn, he was named an “Unsung Hero” by the Virginia Health Care Foundation for assisting his hometown dentists in extending dental care to low-income families. Anderson is also a member of the Auburn University swimming and diving team and is a College Swim Coaches Association of America Academic All-American and a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member. He has also been active with the Younglife Christian outreach program and in many volunteer organizations.
Elliot Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, announced the recipients Nov. 21 and called the Rhodes Scholarships, “the oldest and best known award for international study, and arguably the most famous academic award available to American college graduates.” They were created in 1902 by the Will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. The scholarships provide all expenses for two or three years of study and, in some instances, may allow funding for four years.
Rhodes Scholars are chosen in a two-stage process. First, candidates must be endorsed by
their college or university. More than 1,500 students each year seek their institution’s endorsement; this year, 805 were endorsed by 326 different colleges and universities. Selection committees in each of 16 U.S. districts then invite the strongest applicants to
appear before them for interview. The criteria include high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor.
“Mr. Anderson is truly an outstanding person who represents all for which Auburn University stands,” said Stewart Schneller, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. “I convey my gratitude to him for this honor he has brought to our university and to his family for sharing this wonderful individual with us. My colleagues in the College of Sciences and Mathematics and those across campus are to be congratulated for providing an academic environment that has nurtured and mentored Jordan to this exceptional accomplishment.”
Anderson began his application for the scholarship in late August with the aid of Paul Harris, associate director for National Prestigious Scholarships at Auburn. “We all felt that Jordan exemplified the ideal of the Rhodes Scholarship and was a worthy candidate,” Harris said.
Auburn University Honors College Director Jim Hansen added, “Jordan’s winning the Rhodes Scholarship is a brilliant testimony to the tremendous commitment our university’s leadership has been making in recent years to foster the richest and most profound academic experience possible on a college campus. It’s a tribute to the administration, the faculty and staff, Jordan’s fellow students and to our board of trustees. But most of all, of course, it’s a tribute to the extraordinary character and extraordinary abilities of Jordan Anderson, himself, and to the values his family nurtured in him.”
For a complete listing of this year’s Rhodes Scholarship recipients, click to http://www.rhodesscholar.org/press.
For a high resolution image of Anderson, go to http://wireeagle.auburn.edu/multimedia/jordan_anderson.jpg.