Crittenden Falls Short in Bid for Rhodes Scholarship

Whitefish product was a finalist for one of the world's top academic fellowships

By Dillon Tabish
Derek Crittenden sings the fight song with teammates after the game. Montana defeated Eastern Washington 57-16 on Nov. 14, 2015. Greg Lindstrom | Flathead Beacon

The University of Montana says Derek Crittenden, a senior and Whitefish High School graduate, was not selected for a Rhodes Scholarship.

Eric Taber, sports information director at the university, announced the news late Saturday.

“Derek Crittenden has inspired all of us in #GrizNation. Unfortunately, he did not win the Rhodes Scholarship. We are proud of his effort!” Taber said in a message on Twitter.

Crittenden, a 2010 Whitefish graduate and co-captain of the Montana football team, spent the past two days interviewing in Seattle as a finalist for a Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship award in the world.

An estimated 15-20 finalists from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington vied for two scholarships from the district. A total of 32 young Americans are selected annually as Rhodes Scholars among over 850 candidates. A total of 80 students from around the world are chosen. Being chosen means receiving a free multi-year tuition to study at Oxford, one of the most distinguished institutions in the world.

Crittenden, who will graduate from UM with degrees in philosophy, mathematics and chemistry, is the University of Montana’s seventh Rhodes finalist in the past 11 years. He is also a finalist for the so-called Academic Heisman, which recognizes the top football scholar-athlete in America.

The standout defensive end missed playing in Saturday’s football game against Montana State, which the Griz won 54-35. The victory likely kept Montana’s season alive. The Griz, which tied for second with Portland State at 6-2 in league games, will find out Sunday morning at 9 a.m. if it’s done enough to earn one of the at-large spots into the 24-team FCS playoff field.

2 Yale students from Pacific Northwest are Rhodes scholars

SEATTLE (AP) — Two Yale University students from the Pacific Northwest have been named Rhodes scholars.

Jared Milfred of Portland, Oregon, and Mason Ji of Shoreline, Washington, are among the 32 American students chosen as Rhodes scholars for 2016.

Milfred is a senior studying for a bachelor’s degree in ethics, politics and economics. He has combined research in political theory and political science with a passion for social justice advocacy and campaign finance reform. He works as an EMT on campus and is editor of Yale’s Journal of Political Thought.

Ji is a senior majoring in global affairs. He was also a student at the School of International Studies at Peking University. His senior thesis focuses on East-West dialogue and dispute resolution. He has interned at the White House and for one of China’s largest law firms and is a competitive table tennis player in the U.S. and China.

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