News and Events
Pepperdine Student Among Rhodes Scholar Candidates
Andrew Forcehimes, a senior philosophy major at Seaver College, was one of 10 candidates interviewed for prestigious Rhodes Scholarships from District 16 representing Southern California.
Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, announced the names of the 32 U.S. Rhodes Scholars for 2010 on November 21. The two candidates selected from District 16 were Elizaveta Fouksman, UCLA, and Brittany Morreale, from Palos Verdes who is attending the Air Force Academy. In all, two scholars were selected from each of 16 regional districts in the United States.
Forcehimes was honored to be among 217 candidates interviewed by The Rhodes Trust from more than 800 students endorsed for the coveted scholarships by their respective U.S. colleges and universities. Previous to Forcehimes only five other Pepperdine students had competed for Rhodes Scholarships in the school’s history.
The guidelines for selection by The Rhodes Trust include high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor.
“Andrew exemplifies the highest ideals of academic scholarship – inquisitiveness, intellect, passion, integrity, enthusiasm, and energy,” said Andrew K. Benton, president of Pepperdine University. “We are tremendously proud and delighted for Andrew, his wife Stella, and his family. The entire University community honors his extraordinary achievement.”
Forcehimes was born to Tom Himes and Julia Force in Scottsdale, Arizona. He entered Pepperdine in the fall 2006 and is due to graduate in May 2010. One of Forcechime’s closest partnerships with Pepperdine faculty has been with Professor Michael Gose, who instructed Andrew in Great Books. Gose thought Forcehimes was “Rhodes material” shortly after getting to know him, and invited him to be a teaching assistant.
In addition to distinguishing himself in the classroom, Forcehimes earned the respect, admiration, and friendship of Joe Piasentin, Blanche E. Seaver Chair in Fine Arts, who helped mentor Forcehimes’ talent and interest in painting. Taking up painting was first encouraged by Gose and Forcehimes has pursued art with considerable passion ever since.
Piasentin noted, “Working with Andrew has been not so much about his learning how to paint in any technical direction or form, but about what he wanted to say in his painting. He has this curiosity, this drive to see what will happen in whatever endeavor he is pursuing. What is fascinating, he has been willing to trust his intuitive response without having to justify it intellectually.” Along with Gose, Piasentin hopes that Forcehimes continues to paint for the value gained by looking at himself from a different perspective.
Forcehimes, who plans to enroll in a Ph.D. program in philosophy following graduation, is married to Pepperdine senior Stella Yarborough. The couple lives in Santa Monica. Stella’s academic standing is impressive as well, maintaining a superior grade point average over the past four years.