The University of King’s College is thrilled to announce that fourth-year student Nick Harris has been named a Rhodes Scholar. He becomes the 33rd student of the primarily undergraduate university to win the scholarship. Given King’s small size throughout its history, this means it has one of the highest numbers of Rhodes Scholars per capita of any university in or beyond Canada. After completing the King’s Foundation Year Program, Nick is now finishing a bachelor of arts degree at King’s and Dalhousie with combined honours in Political Science and Law, Justice & Society. As a graduate student at the University of Oxford, where Rhodes Scholars study, he will continue his studies in political theory and international relations as he pursues a Masters of Philosophy. Originally from Windsor, Ont., Nick now considers Halifax his home.
The Rhodes Scholarship is one of the world’s most prestigious scholarships. Rhodes defines its scholars as people who have a vision of how the world could be better and the energy to make a difference. Nick says he applied for the Rhodes Scholarship at the encouragement of King’s President William Lahey, who was named a Rhodes Scholar in 1984. “He’s someone who believed in me,” said Nick, “and that was all the encouragement I needed.”
He also credits his interest in the Rhodes to Lindsay Cameron Wilson, BA’95, BJ’99, herself a King’s graduate and former member of its Board of Governors. Cameron Wilson supported Nick throughout his four years at King’s and Dalhousie as his Loran Award mentor. Awarded to Nick in 2018, the Loran Award is one of Canada’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships, with recipients selected on the basis of character, service and the promise of leadership.
Nick’s commitment to service and his leadership have been evident throughout his time at King’s—deeply involved in the King’s Students’ Union, Nick twice served as its financial vice-president and now holds the office of president. He has applied his education, unique life experiences and his certainty that “the impossible is made possible when we come together” as the basis for a series of motivational talks for grade school students throughout Ontario and Nova Scotia that promote the values of inclusion, accessibility and friendship. He has also worked and volunteered with Best Buddies Canada, an organization that promotes friendship, inclusion and acceptance between people with and without intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“The thread that connects each chapter of my life is a belief that we can always make tomorrow better, despite whatever circumstances we face today,” said Nick. “I believe this Rhodes Scholarship will provide the right environment for me to learn more about international institutions and the challenges this world is facing, and will face next. Through this gift, I hope to understand how I can contribute to tackling my generation’s set of impossible challenges–and those of the next generation. After all, in the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘it always seems impossible until it’s done.'”
Nick’s embrace of service and his strong leadership are complemented by his exceptional academic accomplishments. He was awarded Kings Bishop Binney & Dr. M.A.B. Smith Prizes and achieved the highest grade point average at King’s during his second year. He was furthermore awarded Dalhousie’s Commonwealth Prize in Political Philosophy in 2020, an annual prize given to the student who has achieved the highest grade in the area of political philosophy or the foundations of political thought.
“Nick came to King’s on a Loran Scholarship, the country’s top undergraduate award and he leaves us as a Rhodes Scholar, one of the world’s most prestigious of academic accolades,” said Lahey. “He is a brilliant student and an inspiring leader and talented consensus builder who has contributed much to King’s and his fellow students, including during the difficulties of the pandemic. He is also a very decent, humble and highly ethical person who cares deeply about others and the common good. I am sure the Oxford experience will only intensify his determination and opportunity to make a positive difference in our world’s future. We are incredibly proud of Nick and I look forward to learning what his future holds.”
“Through four years of study at King’s and Dalhousie, Nick has made a deep impression on our academic community, both for his aptitude in political philosophy and for his considerable accomplishments as a student leader,” said Dalhousie University Provost Frank Harvey. “We are all so pleased for Nick and look forward to celebrating many more impressive achievements and contributions as he applies his incredible talents to tackling some of the complex challenges facing society.”
The King’s/Dalhousie community also tips our hat to fourth-year student Dimitra Tsimiklis, of Halifax, who made the final round of interviews for the Rhodes with seven other students, including Nick. “We are also deeply proud of Dimitra,” said Lahey “and equally excited about her bright future.”
“As I set out on this new adventure,” says Nick, “I know that at King’s I’ll always have a home.”