Laura Nelson

Fourth-year College student Laura Nelson stands among the ranks of astronomer Edwin Hubble, former president Bill Clinton and Politics Prof. Larry Sabato.

The Lawn resident and Jefferson Scholar is one of 32 people, handpicked from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants, to receive the Rhodes Scholarship.

The award pays an estimated $50,000 per year to students for two or three years of study at the University of Oxford in England. The 32 U.S. citizens selected are among 80 Rhodes Scholars chosen worldwide to participate in one of the world’s most prestigious post-graduate programs.

Nelson, in an interview with The Cavalier Daily, said the news came as a “total surprise.”

“It still hadn’t really sunk in until I came home and I had [the acceptance] letter and a packet about the graduate programs,” she said.

Nelson said she will spend her time at Oxford studying literature.

“It will be a good chance to read some of the best books ever written with some of the top scholars in the world,” she said.

While she is still not sure of her plans after Oxford, Nelson expressed her desire to stay within the realm of academia.

“I definitely don’t want to stray too far from being around classrooms and learning,” she said.

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