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Claflin senior named Rhodes Scholar finalist

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Shone Nairn Jr., a Claflin University graduating senior from Nassau, Bahamas, has been named a finalist for a 2022 Rhodes Scholarship.

A mathematics major with a 3.9 GPA, and a longstanding member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, Nairn will represent Claflin University and the Bahamas when he appears before the Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee Nov. 22-23 to interview for the prestigious award.

Founded in 1902 in accordance with the will of the diamond magnate and British colonial statesman Cecil J. Rhodes, the internationally acclaimed Rhodes Scholarships have been awarded annually for over a century to superior students and future leaders from around the world.

The merit-based Rhodes Scholarships are awarded to approximately 100 students globally and cover, by tradition, all costs related to two to three years of graduate study at Oxford University in Britain.

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The highly coveted prize -- which acknowledges academic excellence, leadership potential, moral character and an overall well-roundedness in service to the public good -- is the oldest, and according to most observers, the most prestigious graduate scholarship in the world.

If Nairn wins a Rhodes Scholarship, his plan is to pursue an master's degree in energy systems at Oxford University, a course of study that will draw heavily upon his already proven, stellar academic background in mathematics.

Nairn has stated that graduate work at the University of Oxford will better prepare him for a life of public service in the Bahamas, particularly given his interest in clean energy use, as well as energy conservation, renewability and efficiency.

Nairn aspires to become an energy consultant for the Bahamian government, working, he recently said, to create a "more sustainable environment" in the Bahamas and globally.

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In response to his having been recently shortlisted for the prize, Nairn further remarked: "It's an amazing experience, something new and kind of unexpected, but I'm grateful to be a part of it -- and I am excited. I was overwhelmed at first."

Nairn, who a few years ago was recruited to apply to Claflin, was admitted in 2019 with nearly a year's worth of college credit to his name based upon his success in AP courses. That earlier accomplishment has already paid off, allowing him to plan to graduate from Claflin University ahead of schedule.

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Reflecting upon his college journey so far, Nairn said, "I'm grateful that I had a chance to come into contact with Claflin, and had the opportunity to apply."

He said he has also been appreciative of "the resources that Claflin and other HBCUs have put into place to help students to achieve great things", and added, "That's something that really should be celebrated."

Nairn, who is Claflin's first-ever Rhodes Scholarship finalist, is the son of Shone Nairn Sr. and Carolyn Nairn of Nassau, Bahamas.

Famous Rhodes Scholars over the years have come from old and new commonwealth countries from all around the world and have included: Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke; U.S. President Bill Clinton; Jamaican Premier Norman Washington Manley; Bahamian neurosurgeon and NFL professional football player Dr. Myron L. Rolle; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Susan E. Rice; U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright, after whom all international Fulbright awards are named; Edwin Hubble, inventor of the famed Hubble Telescope, and many others.

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