(New York, NY – November 25, 2019) A Class of 2016 graduate of Hunter College High School, Luke Melas-Kyriazi of Manhattan, has been named a Rhodes Scholar. He will graduate from Harvard University next spring and will begin his studies at Oxford University in September 2020.
Luke attended the Hunter College Campus Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. He is the fifth Hunter College High School graduate since 1993 to be so recognized, joining Nnenna Lynch, Class of 1989; David Bauer, Class of 2005; Alexandra Rosenberg, Class of 2006; and Gabriel Zucker, Class of 2008, as past winners of the prestigious award.
Of the more than 2,900 U.S. students who began the application process for this year’s American Rhodes Scholarships, 963 were endorsed by 298 different colleges and universities. Only 32 students were selected as Rhodes Scholars. Three attended high school in New York City.
Luke spent 13 years attending Hunter College Campus Schools and remains very appreciative for the experience. “I sincerely feel that my teachers and friends from Hunter made me the person I am today. Academically, I attribute the success I've had in college to my teachers from Hunter. I am thankful for having had the opportunity to learn from so many incredibly kind and talented peers. They make Hunter into a truly special place, one for which I could not be more grateful.”
His high school counselor Joseph Napolitano and faculty and staff at the high school remember Luke as “inquisitive, eager, hardworking, honest and a truly incredible member of the Hunter College High School community.” Luke was “an extraordinarily brilliant student and a truly kind person too. He used both these traits to start a club of web developers to help local businesses create websites if they could not afford to hire someone to do it for them.”
At Hunter College High School, Luke received “The Life of the Mind” school-wide award presented to students who, by commitment to the life of the mind as well as by general academic excellence, reflect the humanist tradition. He also received several academic department awards: the Harry D. Ruderman Memorial Award for Excellence in Mathematics, the HCHS Science Faculty Award for Scholarship in Chemistry, the General Excellent in English, the Award for Excellence in Spanish V, and the Social Studies Department Award.
At Harvard, Luke is pursuing a B.A. in Mathematics and a M.S. in Computer Science. Luke’s research agenda on machine learning has included work analyzing demographic diversity and blood laboratory data in order to improve clinical decision-making. As treasurer of the Harvard Student Agencies, the largest student-run company in the world, Luke manages a $1.2 million reserve fund to support educational and business opportunities for students. He also organizes hackathons for computer science undergraduates across the U.S. and Canada. At Oxford, Luke will pursue his D.Phil. in Computer Science.
“Going to Oxford and doing machine learning research, they have an incredibly strong group that I feel really lucky to be joining,” Luke told the Harvard Crimson.
Established in 1902 by the will of British philanthropist Cecil Rhodes, the scholarships cover all costs for two or three years of study at Oxford. Winners are selected on the basis of high academic achievement, personal integrity, and leadership potential, among other attributes.
According to Elliot F. Gerson, American Secretary of the Rhodes Trust, in a press release from the organization, scholars will go to Oxford “to study in fields broadly across the social, biological and physical sciences, and in the humanities. They are leaders already, and we expect their impact to expand exponentially over the course of their public-spirited careers.”