Pravin Rajan (SFS ’07) is Oxford-bound.

Rajan became the 22nd Georgetown student awarded the Rhodes Scholarship on Saturday when he was named one of the 32 Rhodes scholars for 2008.

The Rhodes Scholarship, awarded to students around the globe, sponsors two to three years of study at Oxford University in England for its recipients. Scholars are chosen for their intellectual prowess, commitment to using their talents to the fullest, strong values and moral character. According to a press release from the Rhodes Trust, more than 1,000 students seek their institution’s endorsement each year. This year, of the more than 1,000 students seeking endorsement, 764 were endorsed by 294 colleges and universities.

Rajan said he plans to pursue a Ph.D in International Relations at Oxford, focusing on the history of Western intervention in the iddle East.

John Glavin, Georgetown fellowship secretary and English professor, said the university is enthused for Rajan.

“He was one of only 32 selected this year, out of, if you think about it, literally thousands and thousands of students at the tops of their college classes competing. It is the academic equivalent of the Olympics.”

Glavin said he was “pleased” at Rajan’s accomplishment.

“This is our third Rhodes [scholar] in four years. We are also very proud of Pravin because he has been working extremely hard for this while also serving as a Marine. It’s been incredibly grueling for him,” Glavin said. “He deserves it though; he is really a quality person in every respect. He was also a great GUSA president, a transformative president.”

Rajan described the connection between his service as a Marine and his future course of study. “For me, at least, the research I plan to do complements my military service because in many ways, we are fighting a new kind of war with innovation after innovation, and I hope to contribute to such innovations in the future,” he said.

Rajan’s scholarship marks an increase in Rhodes Scholarships awarded to Georgetown graduates in the past 20 years. Out of Georgetown’s 22 Rhodes scholarship winners, only two received scholarships before 1984, including former U.S. President William Clinton (SFS ’68).

Rajan said the Rhodes application process is probably one of the most intensive and reflective experiences he has ever undergone. He added the application really makes you dig deep into who are.

Rajan praised the university’s and Glavin’s involvement in helping him win the scholarship. “[Glavin] helps you discover who you are, your passions and how you can do the most good possible with that. He’s like a Jedi-master,” Rajan said.

The Rhodes Scholarship, which was first awarded in 1902, is named after British diamond miner and politician Cecil John Rhodes.

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