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Amy E. Rowe of St. Johnsbury, Vt., a 1999 Colby graduate who recently earned a master’s degree at Harvard University, was one of 31 U.S. scholars named a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholar this year. She will attend Cambridge University in England to pursue a Ph.D in social anthropology. The prestigious Gates Scholars program was begun in 2001 to develop leaders who will find creative approaches to addressing injustices and inequities around the world.

In October 2004 the fourth contingent of new Gates Scholars, selected from countries around the world, will begin their graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, England. The 31 successful candidates from the U.S. who have been offered Gates Cambridge Scholarships include Rowe, who will be the first Colby graduate to go to Cambridge as a Gates Scholar.

At Cambridge Rowe will join fellow Gates Scholars – highly talented young men and women from all over the world – studying subjects across the whole range of knowledge: arts, science, humanities, social science, technology, and medicine. Their multicultural, multinational presence at Cambridge enlivens and enriches life there, in laboratories and libraries, in classroom discussions, at dining-table debates, and on playing fields.

Since the start of the Scholarship Program in 2001, more than one hundred scholars have completed their studies at Cambridge and have now gone on to other fields of endeavor around the world. They are already starting to contribute solutions to many of the difficult issues which beset us, fulfilling the intention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation when the Scholarships were established. As Bill Gates has written, “we need highly educated leaders, skilled in research and analysis, who will undertake a creative approach to defining and solving problems so that we can address the injustices and inequities around our world. Gates Cambridge Scholarships give young people an opportunity to develop and refine such skills. In Cambridge, Gates Scholars are able to work with distinguished faculty and other equally bright students from many different countries and cultures. On graduation from Cambridge, Gates Scholars are in an ideal position to bring new vision and apply their learning to the benefit of society at large.” From global NGO’s to multi-national corporations, from government offices to inner-city classrooms, Gates Scholars are already putting their Cambridge experience to work in precisely those ways.

The 268 Gates Scholars currently at Cambridge in 2003-2004 come from 60 countries – as diverse as Algeria and Argentina, Estonia and Ethiopia, Nepal and New Zealand, Thailand and Turkey. (Only students from the United Kingdom are ineligible). About one third come from the United States. This high level of global diversity makes the Gates Scholar Program truly unique among scholarship programs.

Gates Cambridge Scholars are chosen after a series of interviews, which take place at different times of the year for different countries. Candidate interviews for new Gates Scholars from the U.S. were held in February in Annapolis, Maryland, and awards have been offered to 31 students in the U.S. In some cases these students have yet to complete the admissions process to Cambridge (an absolute condition for taking up the Scholarship), and some may yet choose to go to another university for graduate study. Because of the multinational makeup of each year’s entering contingent and the wide variety of academic calendars in their home countries, the roster of new Gates Scholars arriving in 2004 from countries around the world and the list of all Gates Scholars at Cambridge in the academic year 2004-2005 won’t be final until the autumn. The definitive list will be published in October, when a further announcement will be made giving details about those actually studying in Cambridge.

For more information about the Gates Cambridge Scholarship program including the current yearbook profiling all the current Gates Scholars, visit

Press Release provided by Ed Strauss, Director, Annual Appeals and Communications, Cambridge in America