The Rhodes Trust is delighted to announce that the Rhodes Scholarships for New Zealand have been secured through support from the Robertson Foundation. The Robertson Foundation will donate £7.5million ($14.4 million NZD) which will sustain the three existing New Zealand Scholarships.  They will be known as: ‘The Rhodes Scholarships for New Zealand; A Partnership between the Rhodes Trust and the Robertson Foundation’. The Scholars will continue to be known as Rhodes Scholars, and there is no change to the current selection process or administration of the Scholarships.  This is the largest philanthropic gift that the Rhodes Trust has received since fundraising efforts started in 2010. 

(From left) Mr Julian Robertson and Mr Donald Gogel, photo: Mackler Studios.The Robertson Foundation is a New York-based private foundation established in 1996 by Tiger Management founder Mr Julian H. Robertson, Jr., his late wife, Josie, and their family.  It currently makes high-impact grants in three principal areas: education; environment; and medical research.  Leadership development is central to the Foundation’s grant-making strategy.   Mr Robertson has a deep commitment to New Zealand and, in 2010, he was appointed Honorary Knight Companion of the NZ Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy.

Mr Robertson commented: ‘This partnership with the Rhodes Trust reflects a shared focus on nurturing the next generation of leaders for the good of our planet.   It is important to me that exceptionally talented young New Zealanders will continue to benefit from the transformative experience of a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford and the Foundation is delighted to help secure that opportunity for them.’

Dr Andrew Graham, Acting Warden of Rhodes House, said today: ‘This is a time of celebration for the Rhodes Trust.  The wonderfully generous support from the Robertson Foundation will allow the three New Zealand Scholarships to be secured and it clearly demonstrates a true partnership with a shared approach and ethos.  The gift also generates real momentum for the Trust’s fundraising efforts, demonstrating a philanthropic model which it is hoped others will follow.’

(From left) Edward Stace, James Bonifacio, the Governor-General, Lt Gen the Right Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Louis Chambers.

The newly selected New Zealand Scholars, who will join the Rhodes class of 2013, were announced on 8 November and they are the first beneficiaries of the Robertson Foundation’s generosity.  They will continue to be known as Rhodes Scholars. Sir David Skegg, National Secretary for the Rhodes Scholarships in New Zealand added his own words of gratitude:  ‘The Rhodes Scholarships have enabled many young New Zealanders to prepare to contribute to their country and to international progress.  We are extremely grateful to the Robertson Foundation for this generous gift, which will ensure the future of the Rhodes Scholarships for New Zealand.’

The New Zealand Scholars-elect are:

  • James Bonifacio, currently studying at the University of Canterbury, and has a focus on theoretical physics, cosmology and the communication of science.
  •  Louis Chambers, who studied at the University of Otago, and is particularly interested in issues of climate change and sustainability.
  •  Edward Stace, a student of medicine at the University of Otago, and hopes to continue his research in tissue engineering and also consider topics within preventative medicine and public health spheres.

New Zealand is one of fourteen Rhodes constituencies around the world, from which a class of 83 Scholars is selected each year to study at postgraduate level at the University of Oxford.  A total of 221 Rhodes Scholars have come from New Zealand, the first arriving in Oxford in 1904. 

Eminent Rhodes Scholars from New Zealand include:

  • Hon Justice Christine French, Judge of the New Zealand Court of Appeal
  • Dr John Hood, former Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford
  • Dr David Kirk, former captain of the All Blacks
  • Dr Jack Lovelock, 1936 Olympic gold medallist, 1500m
  • Baron Arthur Porritt, served as the 11th Governor-General of New Zealand
  • Professor Sir David Skegg, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand
  • Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford