WASHINGTON, D.C. – Xavier Gonzalez of the Harvard men's tennis team is among four Harvard students who earned the Rhodes Scholarship, as announced Saturday by Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust. Gonzalez will represent the United States, joining 31 other Americans chosen from 866 nominees and 299 colleges and universities nationwide.
Established in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, Rhodes Scholars are given the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford with all expenses covered for two to three years. Winners are chosen based on academic achievement, personal integrity and leadership potential.
Gonzalez, a mathematics concentrator, plans to pursue a Master of Science by research in mathematics at Oxford. At Harvard, he is a four-year varsity tennis player with a 4.0 GPA, is a peer advising fellow and a volunteer at a homeless shelter. On the tennis team, he holds an all-time 15-4 singles record thus far in his career.
The Houston, Texas native becomes the fifth men's tennis player to earn the scholarship, and the first since 2005. He is the 55th Harvard student-athlete to earn it since 1920, the last student-athlete since 2014 and the 368th Harvard student in the fellowship's 115-year history.
"We were thrilled about the news!", stated associate head coach Andrew Rueb. "The whole team is beaming with pride. Xavier is an extraordinary young man of many talents and I'm glad his hard work was recognized by the Rhodes Committee. He is a true student in that he is driven by a deep passion for the process of learning - not grades or accolades. Whether Xavier is on the court or in the classroom, he is bringing the same infectious energy and lifts others up around him along the way. We have benefitted greatly from his presence these four years and couldn't be happier for him at this recognition."