This Year’s Rhodes Scholars Include First DACA Recipient and More Women Than Ever

Oxford University is shown in a file photo. (Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)

Oxford University is shown in a file photo. (Credit: Carl Court/Getty Images)

A South Korean DACA recipient, a Naval Academy Battalion Commander, a Special Olympics coach and a licensed private pilot are part of one of the most diverse Rhodes Scholarship classes in history.

The Rhodes Scholarship is a prestigious grant that allows a small handful of uber-accomplished postgraduate students to study at the University of Oxford. This year’s class of 32 scholars mark several firsts and records.

The biggest one: 21 of the 32 recipients are women, the most ever in an American Rhodes class. It’s worth a note that the scholarship, which was founded in 1902, wasn’t open to women until 1976.

This year’s elected class also includes several immigrants, refugees and children of immigrants representing Saudi Arabian, Iranian, Ethiopian, Indian and Mexican heritages, among others. And among its ranks is the first undocumented immigrant protected under DACA.

“This year’s American Rhodes Scholars…once again reflect the extraordinary diversity that characterizes the United States,”¬†American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust Elliot F. Gerson said in a release.

As with any group of ridiculously high achievers, ethnicity and gender aren’t the only markers of diversity for this year’s cream of the crop. One Rhodes recipient says he once wrote Twilight fan fiction.