Nov. 22, 2004

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Contact: Sue Lorenz, KU Honors Program, (785) 864-3374.

KU senior from Partridge wins Rhodes scholarship; 25th KU student to win

LAWRENCE -- Ruth Anne French, a Partridge senior in political science at the University of Kansas, has won a prestigious Rhodes scholarship for 2005. The scholarship provides more than $50,000 for two years of graduate study at Oxford University in Great Britain.

French is the 25th KU student to be named a Rhodes scholar since 1904. In Kansas, KU students have received more Rhodes scholarships than at all other colleges and universities in the state combined.

Rhodes officials announced their selection of 32 Rhodes scholars for 2005 on Nov. 20 from eight regional competition sites throughout the United States following interviews with finalists from each region. Winners were selected from among 904 applicants endorsed by 341 colleges and universities.

French is the daughter of Jim and Lisa French, a fifth-generation farm family in central Kansas. French plans a career as an advocate for protecting natural resources. After her graduation in May 2005, French plans to study administrative and regulatory law with an emphasis on the environment.

KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway said: "Ruth Anne represents her state and her university in a select group of highly talented scholars whose records of outstanding scholarship and leadership have earned them this prestigious scholarship. I congratulate Ruth Anne, her parents and her teachers. Her dedication to excellence demonstrates the high quality of students at KU."

At KU, French has worked as a research assistant with Donald Worster, Hall Family Foundation distinguished professor of history, to create a course on agriculture in world history. She worked with Sidney Shapiro, former KU law professor, to research her honors thesis examining the effects of the Data Quality Act on the regulatory processes of the Environmental Protection Agency. She has worked as an intern for Chief Justice Deanell Reece Tacha of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. French won third place in the 2004 Peterson Prize for Undergraduate Writing at Willamette University in Oregon. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha honor societies.

French is a graduate of Haven High School and has attended Hutchinson Community College.

Cecil Rhodes, a British philanthropist and colonist, established the Rhodes scholarships in 1902. The first American Rhodes scholars entered Oxford University in 1904. U.S. students ages 18 to 24 who have demonstrated high academic achievement and leadership are eligible to apply for a university nomination.

The 32 Rhodes scholars chosen from the United States will join an international group of scholars chosen from 18 other jurisdictions around the world.

Previous Rhodes scholars from Kansas have included David Ontjes of Hutchinson in 1959, Pam McElwee in 1993, Munro Richardson of Kansas City, Mo., in 1994 and Robert M. Chamberlain of Topeka in 2003. Previous national Rhodes scholars have included former President Bill Clinton, and U.S. Supreme Court justices Byron White and David Souter.

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