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Rhodes Scholarship Finals - Candidate #2 from The Bahamas

The 2nd of 4 young Bahamians and Rhodes Scholar Finalists I wish to honor is Shone Nairn Jr.

Shone earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics with a 3.9 GPA from Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Applied Mathematics is the nexus, connection or link between the quantitative sciences. Much of his work has been done as an energy scholar through an internship supported by three west coast United States-based energy companies, and research surrounding the implementation of a ‘Green Chemistry’ lab component to chemistry courses taught at his university. It is his intent to use his technical skills and knowledge acquired in academia to develop smart cities and find novel ways to implement renewable energy through energy consultancy and community engagement.

A first in Claflin’s 152-year history, Shone represented Claflin University, and The Bahamas, when he appeared before the Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee on November 22-23, 2021, to interview for the prestigious award. Nairn is a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College.


Nairn plans to pursue an M.Sc. degree in Energy Systems at Oxford University, a course of study which will draw heavily upon his already proven, stellar academic background in mathematics. Nairn has stated that graduate work at the University of Oxford will better prepare him for a fulsome life of public service in The Bahamas, particularly given his interest in clean energy use, as well as energy conservation, renewability, and efficiency. Nairn aspires to become an energy consultant for the Bahamian government, working, he recently said, to create a "more sustainable environment" in The Bahamas and globally.


In response to his having been shortlisted for the prize, Nairn remarked: "It's an amazing experience, something new and kind of unexpected, but I'm grateful to be a part of it – and I am excited. I was overwhelmed at first".

Nairn was admitted to Claflin in 2019 after being heavily recruited by the University. He enrolled at Claflin with almost a year of college credit after achieving academic success in his Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The credits he accumulated in the AP program will allow Nairn to graduate from Claflin University ahead of schedule. Reflecting upon his college journey so far, Nairn has stated “I'm grateful that I had a chance to come into contact with Claflin and had the opportunity to apply." He remarked that he has also been appreciative of "the resources that Claflin and other Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs) have put into place to help students to achieve great things", and added, "That's something that really should be celebrated."


Famous Rhodes Scholars over the years have come from Old and New Commonwealth countries from all around the world and have included: Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke; U.S. President Bill Clinton; Jamaican Premier Norman Washington Manley; Bahamian neurosurgeon and NFL professional football player Dr. Myron L. Rolle; U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Susan E. Rice; U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright, after whom all international Fulbright awards are named; Edwin Hubble, inventor of the famed Hubble Telescope, and many others.

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