AUBURN, Alabama, November 22. SINCE arriving at Auburn in 2006, Jordan Anderson has been training with NCAA and SEC Champions, along with Olympic medalists, to become the best swimmer he could be and a contribute to Auburn's decorated swimming and diving program. Upon his graduation in May, 2010, Anderson will study with some of the best and brightest in the country as he was awarded one of 32 Rhodes Scholarships, becoming Auburn's first Rhodes Scholar since 1980.
"This is a huge honor and goes without any kind of question that I'm extremely happy," Anderson said. "It is something I am very proud of. I would not have made it this far without the help of the Auburn education I've received and the great and influential people at this university that have helped me obtain this level of maturity."
Anderson is the fourth Auburn University student to be named a Rhodes Scholar and the first in almost 20 years. He joins the ranks of Auburn's Hugh Long (1949), Ed Gentles (1975) and Susan Karamanian (1980) to be honored with the scholarship and will do graduate work at the University of Oxford in England.
"I am so happy for Jordan," Brett Hawke, head swimming and diving coach, said. "This is an amazing accomplishment and I'm very proud to have him as the team captain and leader in the classroom and in the pool. He is a fantastic kid and is very deserving."
"Being named a Rhodes Scholar is an enormous honor for Jordan and a tremendous credit to Auburn University and our National Champion swimming and diving team," Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said.
"Jordan is an accomplished scholar and a tremendous competitor in the pool. He embodies all of the Rhodes Scholar criteria, including scholastic attainment, use of his athletic talents to the fullest, strong character and an instinct to lead. We are proud of Jordan for this incredible accomplishment."
Anderson enters his senior year as a returning All-American and a member of the 2009 NCAA Championship team. He is a two-time SEC runner-up in the 100 fly and was a finalist in the 100m fly at the 2009 U.S. Senior National Championships, finishing sixth.
The Roanoke, Va., native is also a College Swim Coaches Association of America Academic All-American and a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member. Anderson currently holds a 3.91 grade-point average and is majoring in pre-dentistry.
"We all felt that Jordan exemplified the ideal of the Rhodes Scholarship and was a worthy candidate," Dr. Paul Harris, Associate Director for National Prestigious Scholarships at Auburn, said.
Anderson began his application for the scholarship in late August with the aid of Harris. After being named a District Seven finalist, Anderson traveled to Birmingham on Friday to begin a two-day interview process with 12 other finalists from Tennessee, Alabama and Florida.
After a Friday night dinner and a 20-minute interview session on Saturday morning, Anderson and the other finalists played the waiting game for the decision.
"There were so many great and qualified candidates and to be in that company was a great honor," Anderson said. "When they announced my name, I was overwhelmed at first but then felt very honored and excited."
At Oxford, Anderson plans to enroll in a master's degree program in global health science, which is a program geared towards gaining an understanding of the health conditions in third-world countries. With a combination of his education here at Auburn and at Oxford, Anderson hopes to pursue a life in medical mission work.
"The long-term goal is to give me a better understanding of the problems in countries that I want to one day work in," Anderson said.
"With the help of a future dental degree, I'd like to develop medical solutions from a dental perspective."
The Rhodes Scholarship was created in 1902 at the request of Cecil Rhodes and is the oldest international fellowship. It is given to students who possess high academic attainments, personal integrity and high-moral character, leadership and the ability to use one's talents to the fullest. For more information on the Rhodes Scholarship, visit http://www.rhodesscholar.org.
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