Scholar-athlete Parkes Kendrick '17 selected as finalist for Rhodes Scholarship

College of Arts and Sciences

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November 18, 2016

University of Portland senior Parkes Kendrick has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. If successful, Kendrick will become the first University of Portland student to be named a Rhodes Scholar.

The final interview for the Rhodes Scholarship finalists will take place this Saturday, November 19 in Seattle. A star athlete as well as scholar, Kendrick will miss competing with her teammates at the NCAA Cross County Championships, also held Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Majoring in Mathematics with minors in both French and Biology, Kendrick graduated from Grant High School in Portland. She came to UP as a soccer player before transitioning to a cross country distance runner. Kendrick finished sixth overall when the women's team won the 2016 West Coast Conference Cross Country Championship on October 28 and placed 32nd overall, and fourth among Pilot runners, at the the NCAA West Regional competition on November 12. She was recognized with the West Coast Conference Sportsmanship Award last spring for her contributions to the team, the school, and the community.

“What impresses me most about Parkes is her dedication to serving less fortunate people,” said Dr. John Orr, Assistant Provost and Director of the Office of Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement. “Some students do service to add a line to a resume, but Parkes serves because it is the driving force in her life. She is a straight A student, Division I athlete, and tireless laborer for the betterment of underserved populations. And she makes it all look easy.”

About the Rhodes Scholarships
The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest international fellowships, were initiated after the death of Cecil Rhodes in 1902, and bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford. The primary qualification for a successful candidate is intellectual distinction, although the selection committees also seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. 

Each year, on the Saturday preceding the Thanksgiving holiday, a new United States Rhodes Scholar class is elected. These outstanding students are selected from a pool of candidates nominated by their colleges and universities. Only 32 American Rhodes Scholars are selected each year.

They commence their studies at the University of Oxford the following October. Through the years, Rhodes Scholars have pursued studies in all of the varied fields available at Oxford, where they are elected for two years of study, with the possibility of renewal for a third year.

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