Thouron Award

Last updated

The Thouron Award is a prestigious postgraduate scholarship established in 1960 by Sir John R.H. Thouron, K.B.E., and Esther du Pont Thouron. It was created to strengthen the "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom through educational exchange between British universities and the University of Pennsylvania. Through the programme the Thourons sought to nourish and develop Anglo-American friendship by ensuring that, in the years to come, a growing number of the leading citizens of these two countries would have a thorough understanding of their trans-Atlantic neighbours. In the years since its founding, the Thouron Award has sponsored programs of graduate study for more than 650 fellows, known as Thouron Scholars. [1]


Graduates of British universities receive support for up to two years of study – in any degree course – at the University of Pennsylvania, and Penn graduates may study at any university in the U.K. with up to two years of support. The Award, among the most generous exchange fellowships in the world, pays tuition and a stipend that covers room, board, and such extras as entertainment and travel. [2]

The Exchange Programme was set up to bring young people of exceptional ability from each country into contact with the ideas and peoples of the other country. The experience of sharing different ways of life, of studying in a new academic and cultural environment, and of confronting viewpoints and assumptions that have long and varied pasts, fosters personal enrichment and maturity and contributes to deeper understanding of the people and the traditions of each country.

The founders of the Award believed that recipients of the Award should be chosen as much for their personal abilities and leadership potential as for their scholastic ability. Accordingly, Thouron Scholars are chosen on the basis of their "ambassadorial qualities" as well as their ability to succeed in their chosen academic programs. A primary goal in selection is find individuals who are deemed ready to represent their home country while being open to the different perspectives of the country in which they conduct their academic program.

One aspect of the Thouron Award which somewhat differentiates it from other fellowships is the close involvement of a specific family - the Thouron family, beginning with Sir John R.H. Thouron, continuing through his son Tiger and now his grandson Rupert. The family has welcomed every Thouron Scholar into what they deem to be their "extended family" by inviting them into their homes, entertaining them, and maintaining long-term contact with them. This extended family, due to the diverse geographical spread of its constituents, is very much a global entity. [3]

History of the Award

In the autumn of 1960, three British students, a geologist, an economist and a landscape architect, began their courses of study at the University of Pennsylvania as the first Thouron Fellows. In 1961, two graduates of the University of Pennsylvania arrived in the United Kingdom, an economist to the London School of Economics and a classicist to Balliol College, Oxford, as the first Fellows from the United States. Since that time over 500 Fellows have been selected.

Thouron Fellows have pursued degrees in a wide variety of fields. British Fellows have studied in all of the graduate and professional schools of the University of Pennsylvania. American Fellows have attended some 53 British educational institutions, with Cambridge, Oxford and the University of London attracting the majority of the Penn students. In the 50 years of its existence, the Thouron Award has played an influential role in the lives and careers of its alumni. As new Thouron Fellows cross the Atlantic each year to take up or continue their studies, it seems that the program of cooperation is growing and strengthening.

Thouron Prize

The Thouron family has also established a Thouron Prize for Summer Study at Pembroke College in the University of Cambridge for undergraduate students. The award is granted to eight or nine rising juniors and seniors from Harvard, Yale, and Penn, with typically three students selected from each university. [4]

The students receive a full scholarship to travel and spend two months studying at the University of Cambridge in the Pembroke-King's Programme. The Thouron Prize covers the full cost of the program. In addition, recipients are given a seminar series from Sir Roger Tomkys, a former Master of Pembroke College. [5] Competition for the prizes is often fierce, and the universities typically have their own mechanism for initial nomination. Nominees are then passed onto the consideration of members of the Thouron family, who personally hold interviews with all the nominees before coming to a final decision.

The Thouron Prize is sometimes seen as the sophomore/junior analog of the Rhodes or Marshall Scholarships; however, the latter can only be applied to during one's senior year and typically cover two years of graduate study rather than one undergraduate summer. [6]

Similar to the goals of the other British fellowships, the Thouron Prize endeavors to give undergraduates "an understanding of both shared and differing aspects of British and American culture." [4] At least one student who won the undergraduate Thouron Prize later went on to win the graduate Thouron Award as well. [7] At least two Thouron Prize winners have also gone on to win the Rhodes Scholarship. [8] [9]

Notable Thouron Scholars

Related Research Articles

Pembroke College, Cambridge Constituent college of the University of Cambridge

Pembroke College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge, England. The college is the third-oldest college of the university and has over 700 students and fellows. It is one of the university's larger colleges, with buildings from almost every century since its founding, as well as extensive gardens. Its members are termed "Valencians". The college's current master is Chris Smith, Baron Smith of Finsbury.

University of Pennsylvania Private university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The university, established as the College of Philadelphia, claims a founding date of 1740 and is one of the nine colonial colleges chartered prior to the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum with a practical perspective.

The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School is the law school of the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League university located in Philadelphia. It is among the most selective and oldest law schools in the United States, and is currently ranked sixth overall by U.S. News & World Report. It offers the degrees of Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), Master of Comparative Laws (LL.C.M.), Master in Law (M.L.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (S.J.D.).

Harvard Kennedy School School of public administration of Harvard University

The Harvard Kennedy School is the public policy school of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school offers master's degrees in public policy, public administration, and international development, four doctoral degrees, and many executive education programs. It conducts research in subjects relating to politics, government, international affairs, and economics. As of 2019, HKS had an endowment of $1.3bn. The School is a member of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), a global consortium of schools that seeks to train leaders in international affairs.

Marshall Scholarship Scholarships for Americans to study in the UK, named in honor of George Marshall and the Marshall Plan

The Marshall Scholarship is a postgraduate scholarship for "intellectually distinguished young Americans [and] their country's future leaders" to study at any university in the United Kingdom. Created by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 1953 as a living gift to the United States in recognition of the generosity of Secretary of State George C. Marshall and the Marshall Plan in the wake of World War II, the goal of the scholarship was to strengthen the Special Relationship between the two countries for "the good of mankind in this turbulent world." The scholarships are awarded by the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission and are largely funded by the British government.

The Philomathean Society of the University of Pennsylvania is a collegiate literary society, the oldest student group at the university, and a claimant to the title of the oldest continuously-existing literary society in the United States. Founded in 1813, its goal is "to promote the learning of its members and to increase the academic prestige of the University." Philomathean is derived from the Greek philomath, which means "a lover of learning." The motto of the Philomathean Society is Sic itur ad astra.

Amy Gutmann American academic (born 1949)

Amy Gutmann is an American academic who is the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania. In November 2016, the school announced that her contract had been extended to 2022, which will make her the longest-serving president in the history of the University of Pennsylvania.

Yale School of Management Graduate business school

The Yale School of Management is the graduate business school of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. The School awards the Master of Business Administration (MBA), MBA for Executives (EMBA), Master of Advanced Management (MAM), Master's Degree in Systemic Risk, Master's Degree in Global Business & Society, Master's Degree in Asset Management, and Ph.D. degrees, as well as joint degrees with nine other graduate programs at Yale University. As of August 2019, 666 students were enrolled in its MBA program, 134 in the EMBA program, 70 in the MAM program, 32 in the Master of Global Business Studies program, 11 in the Master of Systemic Risk program, and 59 in the PhD program; 122 students were pursuing joint degrees. The School has 90 full-time faculty members, and the dean is Kerwin Kofi Charles.

Rogers M. Smith is an American political scientist and author noted for his research and writing on American constitutional and political development and political thought, with a focus on issues of citizenship and racial, gender, and class inequalities. His work identifying multiple, competing traditions of national identify including “liberalism, republicanism, and ascriptive forms of Americanism” has been described as "groundbreaking". Smith is the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He was the president of the American Political Science Association (APSA) for 2018–2019.

Caroline Minter Hoxby is an American economist whose research focuses on issues in education and public economics. She is currently the Scott and Donya Bommer Professor in Economics at Stanford University and program director of the Economics of Education Program for the National Bureau of Economic Research. Hoxby is a John and Lydia Pearce Mitchell University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. She is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

Harvard University Private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the Puritan clergyman John Harvard, it is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and among the most prestigious in the world.

C. Edwin Baker, the Nicholas F. Gallicchio Professor of Law and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, was a leading scholar of constitutional law, communications law, and free speech.

Kennedy Scholarship

Kennedy Scholarships provide full funding for up to ten British post-graduate students to study at either Harvard University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Susan Hockfield, the sixteenth President of MIT, described the scholarship program as a way to "offer exceptional students unique opportunities to broaden their intellectual and personal horizons, in ways that are more important than ever in an era defined by global interaction.". In 2007, 163 applications were received, of which 10 were ultimately selected, for an acceptance rate of 6.1%.

The Vancouver School of Economics is a school of the University of British Columbia located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The school ranks as one of the top 25 in the world and top in Canada. The school exhibits high research activity and offers undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Emma Dench is an English ancient historian, classicist, and academic administrator. She has been McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History at Harvard University since 2014, and Dean of its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences since 2018. Her previous positions include Professor of Ancient History at Birkbeck College, University of London and Professor of Classics and of History at Harvard.

Michael Fitts American legal scholar

Michael Andrew Fitts is an American legal scholar who is the current president of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Judge Rene H. Himel Professor of Law at the Tulane School of Law. He is a former Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is also the author of numerous articles that have appeared in the Harvard Law Journal and other prestigious scholarly publications.

Nicola Mary Lacey, is a British legal scholar who specialises in criminal law. Her research interests include criminal justice, criminal responsibility, and the political economy of punishment. Since 2013, she has been Professor of Law, Gender and Social Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE). She was previously Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory at LSE (1998–2010), and then Professor of Criminal Law and Legal Theory at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford (2010–2013).

Amy Laura Wax is an American lawyer, neurologist, and academic. She is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Her work addresses issues in social welfare law and policy, as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets.

Claire Finkelstein is the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and the Director of its Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law.


  1. "A Life-Changing Opportunity". The Thouron Award. 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  2. "The Daily Pennsylvanian". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  3. "> Home". The Thouron Award. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  4. 1 2 "Office of International Programs, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Harvard University >". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  5. "Programs>Brochure>Center for International and Professional Experience". 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  6. "The John Thouron Prize For Summer Study at Pembroke College, Cambridge University | Competitions | Fellowships | Academics | Yale College". Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  7. "The Daily Pennsylvanian". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Retrieved 2012-07-26.
  8. "11 Yalies win prestigious scholarships for study 'across the pond'". Yale News. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  9. "final winners bios 2017" (PDF). Rhodes Trust. Retrieved 2017-11-22.
  10. "President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Heath P. Tarbert to the Department of the Treasury". . Retrieved Sep 11, 2020 via National Archives.