Recent history of the foundation
As updated in a letter by the founding director in 2022.
20 September 2022
H. Ian Macdonald OC
(Ontario & Balliol, 1952)
Dear Joelle and Vivek,
In 1957, a Canadian Rhodes Scholar, Ralph Henson, decided to fund the study of an Oxford graduate in Canada. It was a good experience and so, he persuaded the Canadian Association of Rhodes Scholars to join him in funding subsequent scholars. We felt that, as beneficiaries of the Rhodes Scholarships, we should reciprocate in some appropriate way for the extraordinary privilege of our Oxford experience. The response was so enthusiastic that a separate foundation was established. I participated with Ralph and others in the creation of the scholarship and continue to this day as a director of the Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation.
Since 1957, hundreds of Canadian Rhodes Scholars have supported at least 105 Oxford-Canada Scholars for up to two years of graduate study in Canada. In December, a committee of Canadian and Oxford- Canada Scholars, with a representative from Rhodes House - the Warden, when she is available - meets to select one or two Foundation Scholars along the lines of the Rhodes criteria. They have studied almost every subject available from forestry, music, and journalism through geology, political science, and history, to law, medical sciences, and engineering, in universities from Memorial to UVic.
The Trust encourages Rhodes alumni to work together to meet the challenges facing the world. I do not know where our program fits in that regard but no other Rhodes constituency does what we have been doing for the last 65 years. Many of our Scholars would not have been able to pursue their studies without the Foundation's support.
Our Scholars have done us and themselves proud. Every year, we read supervisor’s reports in superlatives. Recently, we were informed one Scholar was “making fantastic progress on his thesis research even in the context of COVID-19 related delays” and another “performed brilliantly in every aspect of the course.” The graduating scholars have gone on to impressive careers in a range of fields. Many return to Britain but some have made Canada their home. Our current scholars are studying for MAs in Philosophy at UBC and History at McGill (you will find information on them on the scholars page).
I am proud to have helped to provide to others the kind of opportunity in Canada which the Rhodes Trust provided for me in Oxford. Joelle and Vivek, I hope you will be successful in your efforts to encourage others, especially our younger colleagues, who are the future of the Foundation, to join us in this important work.
Cc. Dr. Astrid Guttmann
(Quebec & New College, 1987)
President, Canadian Rhodes Scholars Foundation