Dr Dorsey came to Newnham College as a Fulbright Scholar studying history. She became an Honorary Fellow of the College in 1998 and received an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Law) from the University of Cambridge in 2002. In 1974, she became president of Goucher College in Towson, MD, the first woman to hold that post and the longest continuously serving president of the college until her retirement in 1994.
Being the first person in my family to receive a university education was a challenging road to take. Studentships such as the Rhoda M. Dorsey make it financially viable for a budding academic like me.
Neha Chaudhary (Newnham 2019)
As an alumna, Dr Dorsey was an advocate for Cambridge in the USA. She was one of the founders of The American Friends of Cambridge University and served on its board from 1978 to 2000. Dr Dorsey was also Chair of the Board of The Cambridge University Development Office in the USA from 1996 until 2000, (both organisations merged to form Cambridge in America (CAm)) and a member of CAm’s 1209 Society.
When she passed away in 2014, funds from her estate created the Rhoda M Dorsey Studentship at Newnham for graduate students that continue to benefit students today such as PhD candidate, Neha Chaudhary (Newnham 2019) and PhD student, Rosa Campbell (Newnham 2016).
“The studentship has made it possible for me to pursue my interest in history at a place like the University of Cambridge. Being the first person in my family to receive a university education was a challenging road to take. Studentships such as the Rhoda M Dorsey make it financially viable for a budding academic like me.”
— Neha Chaudhary (Newnham 2019)
“I study the history of feminism and I feel a strong thread of connection to the strong Newnham women who have come before me, in this place which is part of that history. It feels fitting that the legacy of one of these women has brought me here. Newnham has changed my life and enabled me to grow into the person I was meant to be.”
— Rosa Campbell (Newnham 2016)
It is fitting that in Cambridge in America’s 20th year, we honour Dr Rhoda M Dorsey, whose legacy continues to make an impact on students now and for many years to come.
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Philanthropic giving is at the heart of the success of the Collegiate University, enabling us to make discoveries that change the world and to ensure that our students receive an unrivalled education. Cambridge owes its world-leading excellence in research and teaching to the generosity of its supporters. Our history is synonymous with a history of far-sighted benefaction, and the same is as true today as it has ever been.
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