CHAPEL HILL – Kimathi Muiruri, a 2021 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been selected for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, which funds study at the University of Oxford.  

Muiruri is the third Rhodes Scholar this year from UNC-Chapel Hill, joining alumnus Justin Hadad and senior Takhona Hlatshwako. This is the first time in Carolina’s 231-year history that three Tar Heels have been awarded Rhodes Scholarships in the same year.  

Muiruri, a member of Carolina’s Class of 2021, was a Morehead-Cain Scholar, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and is an Honors Carolina laureate. He majored in history and environmental studies. 

He also served as the editor-in-chief of the Carolina Political Review and was an undergraduate editor for Traces — a student-run history journal. He has also supported research on land, agriculture and food systems at Columbia University’s Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. 

As a Rhodes Scholar, Muiruri will study environmental change and management at Oxford University’s School of Geography and Environment. 

“I know that the program has produced leaders and people who operate at the forefront of world systems in the past,” Muiruri said. “I am excited at the prospect of building relationships with peers and alumni, across scholarly disciplines, who are current and future leaders across the world.” 

UNC-Chapel Hill has produced 54 Rhodes Scholars since the program first began in 1902.  


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