The academy has had several dozen Rhodes scholars through the years, as well as other cadets who are recognized for their scholarship. Here's the academy's release:
Cadet 1st Class Zachary Crippen, from Bala Cynwyd, near Philadelphia, is a senior at the U.S. Air Force Academy majoring in foreign area studies with a minor in Arabic. He is currently taking 20 semester hours and maintains a 3.81 grade point average. Crippen is also the cadet wing vice wing commander and the mock trial club captain.
“Over the selection weekend, I had the privilege of meeting eleven of my peers who were absolutely brilliant and more than qualified for the Rhodes Scholarship,” Crippen said. “I don't know why I was selected from that candidate pool, but I am humbled by the enormous opportunity now in front of me and thankful to all the people who have helped me along the way.”
After graduating from the Academy next May, he will enroll at Oxford University in England for two years. He is currently scheduled to become an intelligence officer, but has aspirations of heading to law school and an eventual position as a judge advocate.
The Rhodes Scholarships, the oldest and best known award for international study, were created in 1902 by the will of Cecil Rhodes, British philanthropist and African colonial pioneer. Applicants are chosen on the basis of the criteria set down in the will, including high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor.
“The process itself was one of the most rigorous and time-consuming ventures I have ever completed,” Crippen said. “At the same time it helped me think about my future and clarify how I could channel my passion into creative avenues that would allow me to change the world for the better.”