The prestigious Rhodes Scholarships, whose alumni constitute Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners, present and former heads of state, Olympians, judges and eminent academics has received an infusion of funds from a Canadian millionaire and former Rhodes Scholar, the largest grant it has received since its inception in 1903.

At the 110th Anniversary of the Scholarships, the 500 scholars who had gathered at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, were pleasantly surprised at the announcement of a £75-million grant by the McCall MacBain Foundation established by John and Marcy McCall MacBain. “It consists of a £25 million grant, a £25 million challenge/match donation, and a future £25 million to expand the Scholarships into new geographies,” a Rhodes Trust press release said on its website.

The Scholarship, which attracts the best students from the Commonwealth, Germany and the United States every year, was set up by Cecil Rhodes, a diamond mining magnate and politician from South Africa, who created the scholarship in his will with the aim of creating future global leaders. Every year 83 Rhodes Scholars are chosen. They have their tuition fees paid and receive an additional allowance to cover their cost of living. They are given access to Rhodes House, the building from which the Rhodes Trust operates which also houses the Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies.

With the generous new grant, the Rhodes Trustees will decide if the scholarship can be opened to other countries of the globe.