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Zimbabwe awards Rhodes scholarship to College senior Rutendo Chigora. Source: Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships

When The Rhodes Trust announced the 32 American members of the Rhodes Scholars class of 2015 last month, no Penn students were named. Many thought this would mark the fifth year that no Quaker would receive the prestigious scholarship to study at Oxford University. They were wrong.

While the United States obtains the largest allocation of Rhodes Scholarships, the honor is bestowed upon students from several other nations across the globe. Among these other nations is Zimbabwe, the native country of College senior and newly named Rhodes Scholar, Rutendo Chigora.

Chigora, Penn’s first Rhodes Scholar since 2009 College graduate Sarah-Jane Littleford, has been named one of Zimbabwe’s two recipients this year. The achievement is the latest honor Chigora adds to her resume that includes being a social challenge venture winner at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative University and the founder of ZW Connect, a grassroots effort to create economic opportunities for Zimbabweans. The international relations and political science major is both a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and Penn World Scholar. She is an Associate Editor for the Sigma Iota Rho Journal for International Relations and a former vice president of Penn Mock Trial.

Earlier today Dean Dennis Deturck of the College of Arts and Sciences tweeted his applause for the College student.

“Congratulations to International Relations major and College Cognoscenti member Rutendo Chigora, just announced Rhodes Scholar!” he wrote.

Chigora could not yet be reached for comment. 

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