Oct. 16, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. - Three current Auburn student-athletes and one recent graduate have been named as four of Auburn's six Rhodes Scholar nominees the university announced on Tuesday.
The four nominees are Hunter Hayes (track and field), Spencer Kerns (swimming and diving), Ashton Richardson (football) and Jennifer Waxman (equestrian).
"The Rhodes Scholarship is, in my opinion, the most prestigious academic award available to American college graduates," Auburn senior associate athletics director for academic services Dr. Gary Waters said. "I am very proud of the six Auburn University students who have been nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship. I am especially proud of the four Auburn University student-athletes who were nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship. These four student-athletes chose Auburn University because of their interest in our athletics teams and their interest in selected Auburn University academic programs. They are all remarkable representatives of Auburn University who excel in the classroom and in athletic competition."
Hayes, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., is a triple major in music (piano), finance and accounting, a classically trained pianist and a member of the track and field team. His major professor is Jeremy Samolesky in music.
Kerns hails from Mobile, Ala. and is a double major in chemistry and Spanish and a 2012 U.S. Swimming Olympics Trials finalist. His major professor is Anne Gorden in chemistry.
A 2012 Auburn graduate in animal sciences, Richardson of New Orleans, La., is a former football linebacker, Bobby Bowden Award Winner and currently a first-year student in the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine. His major professor at Auburn was Dale Coleman in animal sciences.
Waxman is a native of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, a political science major with a minor in Spanish and a First Team Academic All-American member of the equestrian team. Her major professor is Jill Crystal in political science. She was named a 2013 Over Fences All-American at the NCEA Championships.
The four Auburn student-athletes will compete for a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which gives 32 of the most outstanding young scholars in the country an opportunity to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The scholarship, one of the oldest in the world, aims to nurture public-spirited leaders for the world's future as it promotes international understanding and peace.
"These students evoke the core values of Auburn University," said Melissa Baumann, assistant provost for undergraduate studies and director of the Honors College. "They have succeeded through hard work in their courses and extracurricular activities and they are men and women of character. We are pleased to nominate them for these prestigious scholarships."
Richardson, also a finalist in 2012, was the fifth Auburn student-athlete to be named a Rhodes finalist in the past five years. Other past finalists include diver Dan Mazzaferro, swimming and diving student-athletes Erica Meissner and Jordan Anderson and gymnast Krissy Voss. Anderson won the Rhodes Scholarship in 2009.