University of Oregon senior economics major and honors student Kevin Frazier has been named a finalist for the renowned Rhodes Scholarship, awarded to students for exceptional academic achievements, strength of character and commitment to the common good.
Sixteen regions in the United States have each selected 12-16 applicants as finalists. Only two from each region will be chosen as Rhodes Scholars come Saturday, Nov. 21.
That’s when Frazier, a student in the Clark Honors College, and the other candidates for this region gather in Seattle for final interviews. The two scholars will be announced that evening.
The application process has been a couple years in the making for Frazier, a senior majoring in economics. It requires eight letters of recommendation — four from the UO and four from the community — along with a 1,000-word personal statement of interest and a professional resumé.
Of course, it’s all worth it if he gets the chance to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, pursuing a three-pronged degree of philosophy, politics and economics.
“I’m really excited about that because you get to hone your skills in three very different fields, and because I eventually want to be making policy that is not partisan-oriented, but pragmatic,” Frazier said. “Then you add the fact that you’re on a campus with some of the oldest libraries in history and it’s just a hub of really smart people that want to learn about the world.”
Since 1904, 32 Americans have been selected each year for the Rhodes, which provides a full-ride scholarship for the student to pursue one or more degrees at Oxford. Applicants come from all 50 states and represent more than 300 colleges and universities, joining other Rhodes recipients from around the world.
Frazier’s recognition as a Rhodes finalist has caused him to reflect back on his experiences at the UO, which include a host of academic achievements, being named a finalist for the Truman scholarship and his involvement with the Wayne Morse Scholars program and the UO College Democrats.
“It’s just a realization that I’ve been so fortunate to have so many people behind me and so many resources — it’s an affirmation of what it means to get to explore so many different policy areas here at the UO and the accumulation of all my experiences,” he said. “I feel like it’s all leading to this opportunity to become the transformational, pragmatic leader that Oxford is known for.”
— By Nathaniel Brown, Public Affairs Communications