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Bard College Alumnus Ronan S. Farrow ’04 Awarded Prestigious Rhodes Scholarship

Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The Rhodes Trust has named Bard College alumnus Ronan S. Farrow ’04 as a 2012 Rhodes Scholar. Considered the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship awards in the world, Rhodes Scholarships provide full financial support for Rhodes Scholars to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. Farrow graduated from Bard with a B.A. degree in philosophy and is the College’s first Rhodes Scholar. Farrow’s Senior Project at Bard, “Western Ethics and the Rape of Africa,” examined key elements of Western philosophical tradition that have shaped colonialism and neocolonialism in Africa, using Angola as an illustration. While at Oxford, Farrow plans to undertake a D.Phil. in international development.

Farrow graduated from Yale Law School in 2009, where he edited the Yale Journal of International Affairs. He is currently special advisor to the secretary of state for global youth issues, and before that was special advisor for humanitarian and NGO affairs. He has been a political commentator on three networks and in many national publications, and is a songwriter and guitarist. Farrow is a 1999 graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College, and gave the 2011 commencement there this past spring.

The Rhodes Trust is a British charity established in 1902 to honor the will and bequest of Cecil J. Rhodes. The first American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904. Each year 32 young Americans are selected as Rhodes Scholars, representing the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Rhodes Scholars are chosen not only for their outstanding scholarly achievements, but for their character, commitment to others and to the common good, and for their potential for leadership in whatever domains their careers may lead. These basic characteristics are directed at fulfilling Rhodes’s hopes that the Scholars would make an effective and positive contribution throughout the world. In Rhodes’s words, his Scholars should “esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim.” The 32 Rhodes Scholars chosen from the United States will join an international group of Scholars chosen from fourteen other jurisdictions around the world: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the nations of the Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (South Africa, plus Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Approximately 80 Scholars are selected worldwide each year. For more information, visit

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This event was last updated on 11-21-2011