Philosophy Undergraduate Awarded New Scholarship to Oxford

Kevin TobiaThis past February Oxford University announced that it had received $26 million from the widow of Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records, to establish a scholarship in her husband’s memory which would support graduate study in the humanities, and Kevin Tobia, a double major in Philosophy and Mathematics from Chatham, New Jersey, is one of only 15 students world-wide to be selected for the new award.

The gift is the largest to be given for humanities students in Oxford’s 900-year history, and the Mica and Ahmet Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Program will be endowed in perpetuity to cover such fields of study as literature, history, music, archeology, philosophy, art history, and Asian and Middle Eastern studies. The donation will also support Ertegun House, a five-story Georgian building in which a full-time Senior Scholar in Residence will mentor students and oversee a program of lectures and concerts. “I am very proud of the Ertegun Graduate Scholarship Program at Oxford,” Mrs. Ertegun said, “and I intend that it provide an enduring inspiration for brilliant and enthusiastic students from all over the world to devote themselves to the study of the humanities.”

Once Mr. Tobia had applied and been accepted to Oxford, he was selected by a committee made up of the head of the university’s Division of Humanities and other academics from faculties including classics, English, fine art and languages. "I am honored and grateful to have received the Ertegun Scholarship,” said Tobia. “I realize how fortunate I am to have this opportunity, and I am thankful for the extraordinary mentoring I've received at Rutgers from the faculty in Philosophy, especially Steve Stich, Gretchen Chapman and Jeff McMahan.” At Oxford Mr. Tobia will be studying for a B. Phil. in Philosophy, and the Ertegun Scholarship will cover full tuition and fees for the two years of his degree program as well as provide a grant for living expenses during this period. He was also the recipient of the Clarendon Fund Scholarship to attend Oxford.

“I can’t tell you how proud my Office, the Department of Philosophy, and indeed all of Rutgers are of Kevin’s achievement in being selected as one of Oxford’s first class of Ertegun Scholars,” said Arthur D. Casciato, director of Distinguished Fellowships. “It’s every bit as exciting as it must have been to have had one of your students selected for a Rhodes Scholarship in its first year.”

Click here for a story on Kevin from the Rutgers Focus.