Sarah Yerima '11 Wins Rhodes Scholarship

Selected for her "outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service," Sarah is one of only 83 students in the world to be recognized with this prestigious award.

A graduate of Marlborough's Class of 2011, Sarah is currently a senior at Princeton University where she majors in Sociology. Much of her scholarly work relates to what she describes as the fallacy of post-racialism in the United States, and framed by her own and her family’s experiences, her grandparents’ in the rural south, and hers in an all-black neighborhood in Los Angeles and finally in the privilege of Princeton. Her senior thesis is on the evolution of colorblindness in American jurisprudence and the perpetuation of racial inequality. Sarah has an exceptional academic record across the social sciences at Princeton, has been active as a peer and residential college advisor and as a women’s mentor, and is a member of the Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows. She also studied in Brazil where she investigated racial prejudice in a different historical context.

The Rhodes Scholarships are postgraduate awards supporting outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, and providing transformative opportunities for exceptional individuals. Established in 1903 under the will of Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes is the oldest and perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship program in the world. A class of 83 Scholars is selected each year from: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica & the Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (including South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Rhodes's vision in founding the Scholarship was to develop outstanding leaders who would be motivated to fight 'the world's fight' and to 'esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim', and to promote international understanding and peace. His will outlines four criteria to be used in the election of Scholars:

  • literary and scholastic attainments
  • energy to use one's talents to the full
  • truth, courage, devotion to duty, sympathy for and protection of the weak, kindliness, unselfishness and fellowship
  • moral force of character and instincts to lead, and to take an interest in one's fellow beings.

In short, Rhodes Scholarship selection committees will be seeking young women and men of outstanding intellect, character, leadership, and commitment to service. The Rhodes Scholarships support students who demonstrate a strong propensity to emerge as 'leaders for the world’s future'.

At Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Rhodes Scholars join just over 20,000 students from more than 140 countries currently studying at the University, and are enriched by the stimulating and rigorous education and the vibrant cultural and community life. Nearly 8,000 Rhodes Scholars have gone on to serve at the forefront of government, the professions, commerce, the arts, education, research and other domains. They are well known advocates for expanded social justice, and have advanced the frontiers of science and medicine.

Congratulations, Sarah!!

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