Bermuda Rhodes Scholarship

Press Announcement
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(See report from Harvard Crimson)

The Bermuda Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee is pleased to announce that Mr. Jay Butler has been selected as Bermuda’s Rhodes Scholar for 2006.

Mr. Butler attended Gilbert Institute and Warwick Academy until 2000. While at Warwick, Jay was head boy and received numerous departmental prizes, as well as an award for the best results in the IGCSEs and the 2000 Bermuda Institute of Chartered Accountants’ Outstanding Student Award.

He then moved to the United World College of the Atlantic in Wales where he served in the Community Education Partnership tutoring local school children and graduated from the college in 2002 with a near perfect score in the International Baccalaureate. He was then named a Bermuda Government Scholar in 2002 and also awarded the Sir Henry Tucker Scholarship.

Jay is currently studying for a degree in History at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from where he is expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, History (Honors) in June 2006. Jay is a member of the Kuumba Singers, the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra and an active volunteer at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. Jay has received a number of scholarships, awards and grants in respect of his work at Harvard and was named a Harvard College Scholar for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005.

Jay is an accomplished musician, particularly on the violin, and has been a member of orchestras in Bermuda and at the schools and universities he has attended. Most recently, Jay appeared, along with other students from Harvard, at a concert in the Cathedral in Bermuda playing the Vivaldi Concerto Grosso in D Minor.

Jay has a keen interest in human rights and received the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies Summer Internship Grant in 2004 for work with the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre in New Delhi, India. Jay intends to study law with the view of continuing his interest in human rights.

Jay has been accepted at Exeter College, Oxford to read for a BA (Jurisprudence).


John C.R. Collis
Clarendon House, Church Street
Hamilton HM11, Bermuda
Tel: 441 299 4910 & Fax: 441 292 9337

Butler Named Rhodes Scholar From Bermuda

Harvard Crimson - Published On Wednesday, January 11, 2006 1:37 AM


Crimson Staff Writer


When he goes to England this coming fall to study at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, the biggest worry for Jay A.H. Butler 06 will probably be whether he is on time for his flight.

The recently announced international Rhodes Scholar from Bermuda admitted laughingly that he was a little bit late for his Rhodes Scholar interview in Bermuda over Thanksgiving break. But this seniors tardiness did not faze the selection committee.

Butler, a Bermuda native, was the only Harvard undergraduate to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship this year.

While Rhodes Scholars from the United States were announced in November 2005, the international Rhodes Scholars were not revealed until this month. Butler said international scholars had to wait to find out if they had been accepted to Oxford after they were chosen by their countries as scholars late last year.

Butler is the first Harvard student to be named a Bermuda Rhodes Scholar since Christina E. Storey 93 received the honor.

According to John C.R. Collis, secretary of the Bermuda selection committee, the selection process in Bermuda is similar to the one used in the United States. The candidates need to have very strong academics, as well as be compatible with all Rhodes criteria, Collis said.

He also noted that although all of the candidates have studied at universities in the United States, Canada, or Great Britain, the Bermuda committee requires that candidates are citizens of Bermuda and have completed at least five years of schooling in Bermuda.

A history concentrator in Eliot House, Butler is expected to graduate in June with honors. His field of specialization is 19th-century Bermuda and he is writing a thesis on two prominent families from the era. Butler said he is using the families as a microcosm to study the meaning of freedom and race relations in Bermuda during that time period.

Butler spent last summer in London and his home country of Bermuda doing research for his thesis, and over the summer of 2004 he traveled to India under the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies Summer Internship Grant. There, he worked with the South Asian Human Rights Documentation Center, an NGO in New Delhi.

Butler may be an academic force with a dedication to his thesis, but in typical Rhodes fashion, he is no bookworm. He has sung with the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College almost continuously since his freshman fall. He also played violin with the Harvard Baroque Chamber Orchestra and volunteers regularly at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. Butler was named a Harvard College Scholar for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005.

He plans to study Jurisprudence at Exeter College at Oxford.

I knew I wanted to study law in England and valued the small tutorial system at Oxford, he said.

Though it was his keen interest in human rights that pushed him in the direction of law, he says he has received most of his intellectual motivation from members of the History department at Harvard. He credits his two thesis advisors as intellectual inspiration for him.

I was constantly being pushed and challenged, Butler said. The History department is very accessible and provided lots of attention.

Although he says he never explicitly aimed for a Rhodes Scholarship, Butler was aware of the opportunity and looked upon a Rhodes as always something that was there, something to reach for.

The original Rhodes Scholarship was established in 1902 by Cecil John Rhodes for the purpose of bringing the most promising students in the English-speaking world to study at Oxford. Now, almost one hundred international Rhodes Scholarships are awarded annually. Bermuda is allowed to select one scholar each year.