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First Penn Student to Win non-U.S. Rhodes Scholarship: David Ferreira

D. Ferreira

David Ferreira, a College senior from Hamilton, Bermuda, has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, which will fund two or three years of study at Oxford University in England. Bermuda names only one Rhodes Scholar annually. A political science, philosophy and economics (PPE) major in the College of Art and Sciences, he plans to pursue a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in his first two years at Oxford, followed by a Masters in Jurisprudence (MJUR) in his final year.

Mr. Ferreira is the son of Pamela and the late Alvin Ferreira, who passed away in 1993. Mr. Ferreira has an older sister, Kristen, 25, who, like both her parents, is a lawyer. Mr. Ferreira's sister and mother made legal history in Bermuda in 2002 when they became the first mother and daughter to be called to the bar together.

Mr. Ferreira is the first Penn student to be awarded a non-U.S. Rhodes Scholarship and the University's 17th Rhodes Scholar overall. Penn's most recent Rhodes Scholar was Lipika Goyal (Col '01), one of 32 U.S. students selected in 2001 (Almanac December 12, 2000).

Approximately 95 Rhodes Scholars are named each year. The 32 from the U.S. join an international group of scholars chosen from 18 other jurisdictions around the world. Scholars are selected from Australia, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, Commonwealth Caribbean, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Southern Africa, Uganda, United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

"The best way to describe David Ferreira is 'thoughtful,' in the richest sense of the word," said Dr. Arthur D. Casciato, the director of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. "David is thoughtful in that he is perhaps the most gracious person I've met in four years of working with fellowship candidates, and he is also thoughtful in that he engages whatever questions he is asked not as hurdles to be cleared and put behind him but as opportunities to think anew about his opinions and positions. Given this kind of thoughtfulness, as well as his obvious and broad athletic ability, I'm not the least bit surprised that the Selection Committee chose David from among the ten or so finalists for Bermuda's Rhodes Scholarship for 2004."

Mr. Ferreira attended high school in England at Eton, where he captained the Varsity Squash, Basketball, and Cricket teams and was also a member of the Varsity Soccer team. At Penn he has played on the Varsity Men's Squash team, the Men's Club Rugby team, the Men's Club Soccer team, and this year will try-out for the Men's Club Baseball team as well. In Bermuda he has been a member of the Under-19, Under-21, and Under-23 International Cricket teams and was recently called onto the full International squad to represent his country in the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches. He has also been Atlantic Junior Open Golf champion and won several medals in Giant Slalom skiing competitions in France, Switzerland, and Austria.

In the summer of 2003, Mr. Ferreira served as a speechwriter on the election campaign team of the New United Bermuda Party. At Penn he is currently a member of the PPE department's Undergraduate Assembly Board and the Vice-President and Philanthropy Chair of the Owl Society of Philadelphia. Upon graduation from Oxford, he plans to return home to practice law.

The Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1902 by the will of Cecil John Rhodes, British financier and statesman. Candidates must be between 19 and 25 years-of-age and citizens of the country from which they are selected.

The qualities set out by Rhodes for those seeking Rhodes Scholarships include academic and intellectual excellence, integrity of character, respect for fellow beings and a capacity for leadership. Athletic prowess and success is an advantage, but not a necessity.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 18, January 20, 2004