For the first time since 2009, an Andover alum has received the Rhodes Scholarship and will join 32 other American Scholars at Oxford University, England, starting next October.
Zachary Fine ’11 is Andover’s first recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship in six years, following Abigail Seldin ’05 and Jisung Park ’04, who were both in Rhodes Scholars in 2009. Fine will embark on a new educational journey at Oxford University where he plans to pursue a Master’s degree in both art history and criminology at Oxford.
The Rhodes Scholarship was created in 1902 to send students selected from all 50 states and the District of Columbia to Oxford University in England. The Rhodes Scholars’ expenses are fully paid for by a scholarship funded through the Rhodes Trust, a British charity formed in honor of Cecil J. Rhodes. There is a one percent acceptance rate, through which 32 Americans are selected every year.
Fine came to Andover two years after Hurricane Katrina struck his hometown of New Orleans, LA., seeing the campus as better for him, in terms of academics, than schools back home. He graduated summa cum laude from New York University (NYU) last year and received a Bachelor’s degree in art history. Fine is particularly interested in the usage of photography in law enforcement and believes that Oxford University will present him with more opportunities for interdisciplinary work within the two fields.
“My hope is to work in ways, through my time at Oxford and beyond, that allow me to pursue my intellectual investments inside [Oxford], while also transporting fruits from certain discourses into the public sphere—in the form of writing, activism, and eventually policy work,” wrote Fine in an email to The Phillipian.
“What is remarkable about the Rhodes Trust is that it does not encourage scholars to use the scholarship as a free-ride or fast-track to their careers-of-choice. Rather, the hope is that many scholars will spend time at Oxford pursuing graduate study that allows them to branch out and take intellectual risks, without the encumbrance of high tuition costs and other expenses,” said Fine.
During his time at Andover, Fine developed a close relationship with David Fox, Instructor in English, that further led to his exploration of visual art and its history. Although he initially joined Fox’s art history class due to a scheduling error, Fine developed a fascination for art and what he could observe in museums. During Spring Term of his Senior year, Fine collaborated with Fox on an Independent Project in which he presented ways to utilize Michel Foucault’s work to think about Paul Cezanne’s influence on Pablo Picasso’s art.
“[Fine] stood out in maturity and I think how he interacted with adults on campus, not calculated in any way, just very genuine and it was like building a partnership even though there is always a power dynamic between teacher and student,” said Fox said in an interview with The Phillipian.
After his graduation from Andover, Fine maintained his connection with Fox and was even invited back onto campus to teach several of Fox’s classes. Fine returned to lead a class titled “Relativity, Incompleteness, Subjectivity” with Fox this November, and they also attended the Origins of Modern Visual Culture class at Columbia University.
“In the past couple of years, I have had the opportunity to remain close with Mr. Fox and to also collaborate with him on a couple of small projects. When we talk, or simply when I monitor my own habits of thought and writing, I am always reminded of how important his humbly offered guidance has been, even as I continue to take my own work into new directions,” wrote Fine.
“So many faculty members are kind and thoughtful, and some are willing to offer all varieties of wisdom and counsel to students – especially those that get to know them – that texts and classes alone cannot supply,” he continued. “I was fortunate enough to develop a number of strong relationships with faculty, at both Andover and NYU; a handful of them have proven to be some of the most important I will ever have.”