Centenary College senior chosen as finalist for Rhodes Scholarship


November 14, 2016

SHREVEPORT, LA — Ben Green, a senior at Centenary College and a Shreveport native, has been chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Green will travel to Birmingham, Alabama for an interview on November 19, the final stage in a rigorous application process that also required him to submit a personal statement, an institutional endorsement, and eight letters of recommendation.

The Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest fellowship awards in the world and provide full funding for international students to pursue degrees at the University of Oxford in Great Britain. Each year, an application process representing all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories selects 32 young scholars for this coveted award. Centenary has had just one previous Rhodes Scholar, Hoyt Duggan, who graduated in 1960.

“I started thinking about it at the beginning of my junior year,” says Green, a double major in art history and English. “I knew I wanted to go to graduate school and knew I was interested in potentially going abroad. It was one of those things that felt like a long shot, but I would always wonder if I could have gotten it if I didn’t apply.”

At Centenary, Green has had the opportunity to work as an intern at the Meadows Museum of Art and to curate the critically-acclaimed #exhibit. If he is selected as a Rhodes Scholar, Green plans to pursue two graduate degrees at Oxford: a Master of Studies in Art History and Visual Culture and a Master of Science in Visual, Material, and Museum Anthropology. He worked throughout the summer to refine his 1,000 word personal statement outlining how a Rhodes Scholarship and study at Oxford will help him achieve his academic and career goals.

“Working in the museum, creating the #exhibit, and researching Clementine Hunter showed me that scholarship doesn’t have to be insular,” says Green. “It can be advocacy-based and really does have the potential to change the ways that people think about themselves and their culture and society. Studying at Oxford wouldn’t just affect me personally, but the work that I do there would hopefully affect the broader world.”

Green’s success in the Rhodes Scholarship competition comes as no surprise to his academic advisors.

“I remember Ben seated in my office, asking insightful questions, during his first campus visit.  He showed a rigorous intellectual drive; he started taking dual-enrollment college courses at around age sixteen,” says Dr. Lisa Nicoletti, Green’s art history advisor. “He's excelled in coursework and in campus politics, and has thoughtfully and conscientiously represented student concerns since arriving on campus. Ben will definitely benefit from study at Oxford, and, in return, will offer a productive, positive, politically engaged presence that will enhance the experience of others.”

Green has also impressed College administrators throughout his career at Centenary, serving as a student representative on several key administrative policy committees and leading the Student Government Association as president in his senior year.

“Being named a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship is an uncommon honor, and Ben Green is an uncommon student,” says Dr. Jenifer K. Ward, Provost and Dean of the College. “He is quietly ambitious: for his college, for his classmates, and for his community to be part of needed change in the world. Refreshingly, he does not seek credit for his works—he seeks to have his works lead to something that is credit-worthy; to be a part of bringing about change; and to leave his present corner of the world in better shape when he moves on to other corners. Centenary College could not be prouder of this recognition of his strength as a candidate for the Rhodes, and we are all pulling for him.”

In 2015, over 800 Rhodes Scholarship candidates were nominated by their colleges and universities. The decentralized application process divides the United States into 16 districts, with each district selecting a small number of finalists to advance to the interview round.  On the afternoon of November 19, following a morning of individual interviews, each district will designate two “scholar-elects” to join the 2017 class of American Rhodes Scholars.

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