what is a rhodes Scholar?

i hear the term used but i don’t know what it actually means. the research i’ve found says it may be an educational scholarship to oxford but i fail to see why that would be important or what distinguishes it from other scholarships.

I’m not all that sure myself, but what I do know is that it was fund set up by Sir Cecil Rhodes to allow American students to win a scholarship to Oxford University.

When I was a kid, I though the phrase was “road scholar”. I imagined a student hitch-hiking across the country.

Bill Clinton was a Rhodes scholar.
I guess common sence wasn’t part of the curriculum.


Your attempted insult/putdown loses what little effect it might have had due to your inability to correctly spell commonly used words.

Kris Kristofferson was another person you might find an unlikely Rhodes scholar, but he was.

i used to think it was ‘rogue scholar’ and meant someone was an independent researcher willing to buck the status quo.

correction: SENSE
Thanks, spelling nazi.:cool:

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, General Clark. I hope you declare your candidacy soon. I want to vote for you.

Rhodes scholarship were established by the last will of Cecil Rhodes, the diamond magnate for whom Zimbabwe was formerly named. That is, he was the source of the name “Rhodesia”. His previous wills–I believe there were six of them–had left money for efforts to get the United States into the British Empire.

Originally the scholarships were open only to white males.

The “big deal” about a Rhodes Scholarship is their prestige. They are widely regarded as an award for the most elite collegians. The competition is extremely demanding, and to win one a person must not only be an outstanding student, but demonstrate that they are, overall, outstandingly talented and disciplined.

Famous recipients include Bill Bradley and Paul Robeson.

Rhodes Scholars are American, Canadian and South African students who come to Oxford for a year, fark around, and do absolutely nothing academic-wise. Meanwhile, they are coddled by the establishment, get taken to expensive parties, and generally get treated like gold.

Meanwhile, those of us American, Canadian and South African students who come to Oxford to, you know, do an actual degree, find it next to impossible to take out student loans, get scholarships, or work for a living, and so essentially live from pot noodle to pot noodle. And then we get spat on by the rest of the Oxford student body because of the egregious behavior of the Rhodes lot.

And, before you ask, I am not bitter. AT ALL. So there. :slight_smile:

Not to mention students from, uhh, other parts of the world.

Such as those little-known backwaters Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Kenya, India, Jamaica, the Commonwealth Caribbean, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore and Zimbabwe.

You’re right, Narrad, I forgot Zimbabwe. :smiley:

But it was only the American, Canadian, and South African Rhodes scholars who seemed to cause all the problems. The Australians were greeted with open arms–who else was going to fill the spots in the Blues cricket and rugby sides?

Point taken. :wink:

Of course, one of the criterion for winning a Rhodes is prowess on the sporting field (I think Sir Rhodes himself limited this to the “manly sports”, which I take to mean rugby and cricket.)

(A lack of sporting ability obviously isn’t fatal to one’s chances, however; a guy from my graduating law school class last year won a Rhodes Scholarship – and he’s confined to a wheelchair.)

What? This doesn’t follow at all. There are lots of people with “sporting ability” confined to wheelchairs.

Sorry, I should have elaborated. The man in question doesn’t engage in sport.

You’re right, though; it doesn’t follow. There are plenty of sports open to people in wheelchairs. My intention, however, was to juxtapose “the manly sports” with an example of someone who obviously doesn’t participate in (able-bodied) rugby and cricket.