No Princeton students win 2013 Rhodes Scholarship; Cunningham ’13 wins Mitchell
This year, for the first time since 2005, no Princeton student won a Rhodes Scholarship, the Rhodes Trust announced early Sunday morning. While six students from Harvard and seven from Yale won awards, none of the 32 winners came from Princeton.
Also on Sunday, it was announced that music concentrator Flannery Cunningham ’13 won the George J. Mitchell Scholarship.
Princeton had 15 finalists for the Rhodes, fewer than Harvard’s 22 but more than Yale’s 11, according to American Secretary of The Rhodes Trust Elliot Gerson.
In 2005, the discrepancy between Princeton and peer schools was smaller. While Princeton was shut out from the award, only six Harvard and two Yale students won the scholarship.
No Princeton students won a Rhodes in 2000, 1999, 1991 or 1989.
Director of Fellowship Advising in the Office of International Programs Deirdre Moloney declined to be interviewed about this year’s results.
Gerson said that it is in unclear why no winners this year came from Princeton.
“One never knows with these things,” he said. “It’s always a mistake to infer anything from a particular year or even a couple of years, given the numbers of candidates who apply their extraordinary qualifications and ultimately the inherently subjective judgments that are very difficult to reach on a part of the selectors.”
The American Rhodes Scholarship lists outstanding intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service as qualities it looks for in selecting winners. Rhodes Scholars spend at least a year studying at Oxford, and the Rhodes Trust pays all their tuition and fees. They are also given transportation and a stipend for necessary expenses, according to the trust.
Last year, Princeton had four recipients: Elizabeth Butterworth ’12, Miriam Rosenbaum ’12, Astrid Stuth ’12 and Mohit Agrawal ’11.
Though Princeton did not notch a win for the Rhodes, Cunningham won the Mitchell on Sunday. The scholarship — not as old as the Rhodes — funds one year of graduate school in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Cunningham, who is also earning a certificate in creative writing, will be attending the University College Cork and studying composition. She said she plans to become a composer, either at a university or as a freelancer.
“I think the paramount thing for me will be to keep writing,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham, from St. Cloud, Minn., is an alto in the Glee Club, president of the Undergraduate Composers Collective and a peer academic adviser in Forbes. She has worked with Mayan actresses and playwrights in Mexico to explore the relationship between text and music, according to the Mitchell College website.
As part of MUS 314: Computer and Electronic Music through Programming, Performance and Composition, Cunningham and a classmate created a musical instrument that can be played with video game controllers.