Rhodes Scholarships Get 75 Million-Pound Gift for Oxford Studies

The Rhodes Trust, which awards scholarships for study at the University of Oxford, received 75 million pounds ($120 million) from the McCall MacBain Foundation, the largest gift in the program’s 110 years.

The donation from the foundation, established by John and Marcy McCall MacBain, will allow the trust to award Rhodes Scholarships in more countries and includes a 25 million-pound challenge to raise more money, the trust said yesterday in a statement on its website.

John McCall MacBain was the founder and chief executive officer of Trader Classified Media, a publisher of classified advertisements, until its sale in 2006, according to the Geneva-based foundation. McCall MacBain, a native of Canada, received a Rhodes scholarship in 1980 and serves as a Rhodes trustee.

“I welcome this donation to ensure that Rhodes Scholarships will flourish long into the future,” said U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, an Oxford graduate, in the statement. “It is great news for the U.K. and our world class, higher education system that such a prestigious program looks set to be secured for the long term.”

The scholarships were established in 1903 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, a British mine operator and explorer who founded what is now diamond producer De Beers, owned by Anglo American Plc. A class of 83 scholars is now selected annually for two or three years of study at Oxford. Past U.S. winners include former U.S. President Bill Clinton; Cory Booker, mayor of Newark, New Jersey; and Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana.

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