The 32 American winners of Rhodes scholarships for 2012 were announced on Saturday, and for the fourth time since 1976, when women first became eligible for the award, more women than men were selected.
The seventeen women and 15 men chosen this year were selected from a pool of 830 candidates who had been nominated by their colleges and universities, says an announcement by Elliot F. Gerson, American secretary of the Rhodes Trust. They represent 18 different institutions, including two that have never before had a student win the prestigious award: Bard College and California State University at Long Beach.
Stanford University produced the most scholars this year, with five. Brown, Harvard, and Princeton Universities had four each. Among public institutions, the University of Washington had two winners, and the Universities of Alabama at Birmingham, Kansas, Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin at Madison, along with Cal State-Long Beach and the U.S. Air Force Academy, had one each.
The scholarships, which Mr. Gerson called "the oldest and best known award for international study," provide all expenses for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford, in England. The new winners will begin their studies at Oxford in October 2012. They will join an international group of scholars chosen from 14 other jurisdictions around the world.
The scholarships were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes. The criteria for the awards, as set down in the will, are "high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor."