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October 30, 2006


Simon's Rock is one of only two U.S. colleges to have made such an arrangement with Lincoln College, Oxford University

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA — Mary B. Marcy, Provost of Simon's Rock College of Bard, has announced an agreement between Lincoln College of Oxford University and Simon's Rock College of Bard. The agreement will allow Simon's Rock students to study at Oxford as fully matriculated students for one year, and to return to Simon's Rock to complete their senior year and degree requirements.

Lincoln College is one of the world's oldest academic institutions, founded in 1427. It is also one of the most prestigious colleges at Oxford, and it is noted particularly for excellence in political science and literature, two of the subjects that Simon's Rock students will pursue there. Lincoln has made such an arrangement with only one other U.S. college in its history (Middlebury), but agreed to the program with Simon's Rock because of the strength of its curriculum and its highly competitive students.

Soon after arriving at Simon's Rock, Mary B. Marcy began to work on this arrangement as a way to expand the growing study abroad and study away program at the college. Having earned her PhD at Oxford, she was aware of the unique educational experience that university could give to Simon's Rock students. She is pleased about the caliber of the program that has been established with the two institutions:

"It is very unusual and important that our students will live in residence, be fully matriculated at Oxford, and be taught by full Oxford faculty. Most Oxford study programs do not include these features," said Marcy.

Under the terms of the program, Simon's Rock may send as many as five undergraduates to Lincoln College, Oxford, each academic year. Simon's Rock students will be Lincoln College undergraduates, and will have access to all college facilities and resources. Eligible students must be capable of benefiting from the independent nature of study at the college, and they will be selected based on "independence of thought, flexibility and precision of thinking, and ability to discuss ideas critically."

The structure of study at Oxford differs from that of an American university, with more time spent on individual work and on tutorials. Students will prepare discussion papers for tutorials on a weekly basis, and have the opportunity to prepare for and sit internal Lincoln College examinations. They will also hear formal reports by their tutors at the end of their terms, reports that are formally given in the presence of other faculty.

The international education experience is one which the members of the Simon's Rock faculty value. Simon's Rock students have spent semesters and study away periods at many universities, including Waseda University in Japan, University of Legon in Ghana, University of the Bosphorus in Turkey, the University of Cordoba in Argentina, the Free University in Berlin, the University of Freiburg, the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and the London School of Economics. They also participated in related programs in Spain, France, Morocco, India, Thailand, Ecuador, and Chile.

Rodney Christopher Scholarship Fund

In order to open this Oxford program and other study abroad opportunities to all students – regardless of their financial situations – Simon's Rock College also announces the Rodney Christopher Scholarship Fund. This fund, established by Chairman of the Board of Overseers Emily H. Fisher, with a gift of $1 million, will give students need-based scholarships for study abroad and study away opportunities. The Fund is named in honor of the alumnus who first discussed with Fisher his concern that students without economic means – students on scholarships and financial aid – might be excluded from study abroad opportunities such as the Lincoln College, Oxford program. To remedy that situation, Emily H. Fisher announced that she would endow a scholarship expressly for that purpose, and she named it to honor that alumnus who discussed it with her, Rodney Christopher.

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706