Senior named Rhodes Scholar

by Lia Grigg | 11/19/07 3:20am

Adam Levine '08 was named a Rhodes Scholar this weekend. At Oxford, he hopes to continue work on his thesis on the image of Jesus.
by Sarah Shaw / The Dartmouth

The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the oldest and most prestigious awards given to American college students. Awarded to 32 men and women, the scholarship was established in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes. The scholarships cover all expenses for two to three years of study at Oxford.

Levine will pursue a doctorate of philosophy in classics at Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. While he is not a classics major at Dartmouth, Levine said he is interested in classical art history and is working with the director of the Classics Centre at Corpus Christi, Jas Elsner.

"I never even thought about the prestige of it in the process, which seems silly but is the truth." Levine said. "I just really wanted to go to Oxford. It has the best classics department in the world for what I want to study and a specific individual I want to work with, Jas Elsner."

Levine's thesis examines the origins of the iconography of Christ. In his thesis, Levine argues that the image of Christ was derived from multiple entities, incorporating attributes of pagan deities, imperial iconography and depictions of pagan philosophers.

The Rhodes Scholarship covers the Oxford tuition and provides a stipend of approximately $24,000 per year to cover necessary expenses, such as transportation, book and research costs, and residence.

According to a press release from the Rhodes Trust, scholars must possess "high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership and physical vigor."

Candidates begin the application process by seeking institutional endorsement from their college or university. After receiving Dartmouth's endorsement, Levine sent 10 copies of his application, which included a list of activities, a four-page personal statement and eight letters of recommendation, to his district committee. The 16 district committees selected finalists who were interviewed on Friday and Saturday, before each announced its final selection of two candidates Saturday afternoon.

Levine said the Rhodes Scholarship is an opportunity to continue researching a topic about which he is passionate. The doctorate of philosophy is not a taught degree, which means that Levine will spend his time doing research on his own and auditing classes as he chooses. Levine is the eighth Dartmouth student since 2000 to receive the scholarship.