News from the Project: Our 10th Anniversary

Scholars & staff joined Ann Olivarius (Connecticut & Somerville 1978) at Hennerton House to celebrate ten years of the Rhodes Project.

Ann Olivarius spoke about her motivations for founding the project a decade ago. She was joined by Professor Susan Rudy, the Director of the Rhodes Project, who talked about the lessons learned from her research, which will culminate in the publication of a book on the gender gap in leadership, co-authored with Dr Kate Blackmon, next year.

Caroline Bergvall introduced her artwork, commissioned for the Rhodes Project, entitled “THEREISNOTACLEARBRIGHTLINE.” The piece is comprised of 1140 individual gold leaf dots, one for each of the women Rhodes scholars. It is now included in the permanent collection at Rhodes House, University of Oxford.

The group also watched a video of footage compiled at the 110th Anniversary of the Rhodes Scholarship held at Rhodes House, last September. The video featured interviews with scholars responding to questions about leadership, mentoring and success.

 We concluded the evening with music from Whim ‘N Rhythm, Yale’s foremost all-female a cappella group, and, of course, cake! 

 The evening celebration had been preceded by an afternoon focus group during which six senior women Rhodes Scholars had discussed seeing oneself and being seen by others as a leader.

 Reflecting on the day’s events, Professor Susan Rudy said: “what a delight to experience, in one space and on one day, the full breadth and richness that is the Rhodes Project.  From a serious conversation among senior women about leadership to a shared moment of laughter when the youngest women Rhodes Scholars’ responded to the advice to not get pushed around, from the expansiveness promised by Bergvall’s gold leaf constellation of women Rhodes Scholars to the expanding of our personal networks through the sharing of names and stories over dinner, as the Rhodes Project itself does, our 10th anniversary celebration offered a space of hope and affirmation where things have already changed for the better for women.”