application approach brings yet another Rhodes
co-captain Brad Henderson is latest Oxford-bound scholar
fourth-year economics concentrator Bradley J. Henderson believed
his application for a Rhodes Scholarship was a long shot, the
College's advising staff for British scholarships was not surprised
to learn on December 9 that the Loveland, Ohio, native had become
Chicago's 36th Rhodes Scholar.
had fewer applicants than other schools in recent years,"
says advisor Susan Art, "but our students are choosing to
apply with good information and better preparation."
21-year-old Henderson, who will study economic and social history
at the University of Oxford, submitted his application through
a system that's much more student-friendly than a decade ago,
says Art, whose office began overhauling the College's approach
to British scholarship applications about ten years ago. The result
has been not only applicants who are more prepared to compete
in the rigorous national competition but also, ultimately, a higher
percentage of winners for Chicago.
new process begins shortly after all third- and fourth-year students
are informed of Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship opportunities.
Art and fellow advisor Francisco Santamaria counsel interested
students to decide whether studying in England fits their goals
and interests. A small number are nudged into the arduous application
process, and an annual maximum of 15 students formally apply (compared
to Harvard or Princeton Universities, which may submit 80 or 90
applications). This year Henderson was one of five U of C applicants.
The students practice interviews with a small group of Chicago
faculty (rather than the "grilling" by a large group
that Art says was often overwhelming for past applicants).
believes the numbers are a testament to the new system's merits.
The College has had seven Rhodes Scholars and seven Marshall Scholars
since 1995, while the previous five years saw only three Rhodes
and four Marshalls-"and the years before 1990," admits
Art, "were pretty lean."
his part, Henderson looks eagerly ahead to Oxford. The co-captain
of the varsity basketball team who came to the U of C on a full
four-year academic scholarship, he plans to study how the tension
between proponents and detractors of globalization affects governmental
regular on the dean's list, Henderson is a member of the Phi Beta
Kappa national honor society and is a student marshall, the University's
highest undergraduate honor. As the basketball team's starting
forward, his honors from the University Athletic Association include
First Team All-Conference selection and All-Academic Team. He
has been a volunteer tutor for U of C Strive and has written for
the Chicago Weekly News.
seems to thrive on challenges," says Allen Sanderson, senior
lecturer in economics. "He doesn't let much grass grow under