University Archives recently received a scrapbook created by Duke's first Rhodes Scholarship winner, Charles Rutherford Bagley '14, A.M. '15. Bagley attended Trinity College from 1911 to 1915 and graduated magna cum laude, with highest honors in Latin. He was working as an instructor in French at Duke when he was named a Rhodes Scholar in 1917.
The Rhodes Scholarship program, the oldest international academic fellowship, was established in 1902. Every year since then, thirty-two U.S. citizens have been selected to take degree courses at the University of Oxford.
As it turned out, Bagley's residency in Oxford was delayed by the outbreak of World War I. He served as a captain in the American Expeditionary Force's 321st Infantry, and was fighting on the famous "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" when the Armistice was signed.
After the war, Bagley took up his studies at Oxford. In a 1922 letter to the Trinity Alumni Register, he wrote: "I hope more Trinity men will take advantage of the Rhodes scholarships as time goes on. Already the two Trinity representatives at Oxford hold between them the presidency of the American Club, presidency of the French Club, and captaincy of one college tennis team."
Bagley's scrapbook dates back further, to his undergraduate years. Filled with photos of classmates, dorm life, and the Trinity baseball team, taken between 1907 and 1913, it provides a glimpse into his time in Durham.
— Bowser is a University Archives assistant.
Rhodes Scholar's Scrapbook
Selections from University Archives
April 1, 2009