The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest and among the most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world, and Jay Ruckelshaus, a senior at Duke University and a quadriplegic since 2011, is among the 32 American winners for 2016. “I’d heard about the Rhodes for a long time, and admired many public figures who are Rhodes Scholars, but it’s not something you ever really think you would achieve,” says Ruckelhaus, an Indianapolis native majoring in political science with a triple minor in philosophy, history and English.
A Rhodes Scholarship is a full post-graduate scholarship to England’s prestigious Oxford University. Established in 1902, it is intended to promote civic-minded leadership among young people with, as Cecil Rhodes wrote in his 1899 will, the “moral force of character and instincts to lead,” in hopes, as he wrote in a 1901 codicil to his will, of “rendering war impossible” through promoting understanding between the great powers. Some Rhodes Scholars, such as Bill Clinton, hav