December 16, 1999
Whitworth Senior Chosen as the Only Rhodes Finalist from Washington State
Whitworth College senior Tim Mitrovich was the only student from a Washington state college or university to be named a 1999 finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.
Thirty-two Rhodes Scholars - culled from 935 applicants nationwide - were announced Dec. 4 following a grueling, three-stage selection process. Mitrovich, a 4.0 political science major from Spokane, Wash., was one of only 12 students from a seven-state western district to reach the final round of interviews. Four finalists from the western district were chosen as Rhodes Scholars.
According to Dale Soden, professor of history, political and international studies at Whitworth College, Mitrovich's accomplishment is well deserved.
"Tim is bright and engaging. His life reflects the best of what the Rhodes Scholarship is designed to promote: a well-rounded individual who has an outstanding intellect and a commitment to public service."
During his district interview, Mitrovich responded to questions that were fired at him from a panel of eight former Rhodes Scholars and the chairman of the committee.
"Throughout the interview process, I felt like I was not only trying to prove myself but also show what a great school Whitworth is," Mitrovich says. "A major part of my wanting to be a Rhodes Scholar was to bring some well-deserved attention to Whitworth and to its faculty. I don't feel like I necessarily let anyone down, but I'm sorry I wasn't able to accomplish that goal."
Mitrovich will work this spring as a consultant and researcher for Copernicus Interactive Corp., a national firm that develops K-12 Internet portals, before pursuing JD and MBA degrees next fall. His long-term goal is to work in public service and affect change by developing solutions to the problems of poverty and lack of opportunity.
Rhodes Scholars are chosen in a three-stage process. First, colleges and universities nominate one or two candidates to a state selection committee. In Washington, which has about 25 nominees a year, the committee selects and interviews eight to 10 of the most promising candidates. Mitrovich is the third Whitworth student in four years to reach the state interview level, following Scott Hansen in 1996 and Kyle Forsyth in 1998.
The Washington state selection committee then sends two finalists on to the district competition. Besting students from Harvard, Stanford, MIT and other nationally recognized institutions, Mitrovich and Jammie Himsl, an Air Force Academy student from Prosser, Wash., were this year's Washington finalists.
The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest of the international study awards available to American students, were created in 1902 by the Will of Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and colonial pioneer. The scholarships provide two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England.
Candidates are selected on the basis of criteria established in the Will of Cecil Rhodes. These criteria include high academic achievement, integrity of character and potential for leadership.
Whitworth College, located in Spokane, Wash., is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Tim Mitrovich, (509) 924-5113 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Orwig, director of communications, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4580.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729.
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