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Laguna Blanca Graduate Cameron Platt Selected as Rhodes Scholar

Cameron Platt

Laguna Blanca School graduate Cameron Platt (Class of ’12) was one of 32 American university students awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for graduate study at the University of Oxford in England.

The Rhodes Scholars chosen from the United States will join an international group of Scholars chosen from 16 other jurisdictions around the world.

“As I reflect on the opportunities that have made my education so meaningful, I am deeply grateful to my teachers at Laguna, who supported me closely but granted me the freedom to direct my own pursuits and discover my true passions,” Platt said. “The Laguna faculty gave me the love, the faith and the tools that I've needed to follow my scholarly path, and that has made all the difference for me.”

Platt attended Laguna Blanca from 7th to 12th grade, and in high school was highly involved in the theater program, performing in seven campus productions. She also worked with Laguna’s campus literary magazine, Portfolio, ultimately serving as editor in chief.

She is currently a senior at Princeton University, where she will receive a Bachelor of Arts in English with certificates in theater and medieval studies.

Her senior thesis at Princeton explores the narrative and spatial wanderings of female protagonists in English literature, including women from the works of Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf.

Platt has previously been involved with Oxford during the summer of 2015, when her literary studies took her to participate in the Middlebury Bread Loaf School of English and to research in the 19th-century local parish archives of the Bodleian Library.

At Princeton, she has received numerous academic awards including the Class of 1870 Old English Prize given annually to Princeton’s top scholar in the fields of old English, medieval and early modern studies; the George B. Wood Legacy Junior Prize and the Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence.

She currently serves as the president of Princeton University Players, participating in both production and acting roles in multiple performances.

As the development director for the Princeton University Players, she also oversaw the production of the annual Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit concert.

Additionally, Platt is a peer academic adviser at Wilson College and is a representative on the undergraduate advisory committee to the English department.

Starting in October 2016, she plans to pursue master degrees in English and American studies and in medieval studies at Oxford with the Rhodes scholarship covering all expenses for multiple years of study.

“Cameron has been an English graduate student in the making since she was in seventh grade,” said Laguna Blanca English teacher Dr. Ashley Tidey. “At Laguna she wrote essays and contributed to class discussions with such grace and such beauty. Her observations about literature would actually change the way I taught various texts. What a stunning achievement — for her, and for all of us — to have an alumna who is a Rhodes Scholar.”

In 1902, the Rhodes Scholarships were created in the trust of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer, seeking outstanding young men and women of intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service. The first class of American Rhodes Scholars entered Oxford in 1904.

This year, approximately 2,000 students applied for the endorsement of their institution, with 869 representing 316 different colleges and universities.

From there the Committees of Selection in each of 16 U.S. districts invited the strongest applicants to appear for interviews, with Platt winning in District 16, California-South.

Since the inception of the Rhodes Scholarships, Americans have won 3,388 awards, representing 318 colleges and universities.

The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees and provides a stipend to cover necessary expenses while in residence in Oxford, while traveling and during vacations to and from England.

“I'm honored and humbled by my Rhodes classmates,” Platt said. “Oxford is a magical place, and I can’t wait to see how my passions will extend and transform there!”

Melissa Walker is the communications coordinator at Laguna Blanca School.


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