Frank and Rosa Rhodes Class of 1962 Tradition Fellowship

From an original endowment of $60,000 ($21,000 from the Class Gift Fund, $24,000 from six classmates, and $15,000 through a matching grant to the University) in 1995, the value of our Tradition Fellowship is today in excess of  $162,000, helped along by additional gifts from the Class Gift Fund and individual classmates.  The money is held by the University in the Long Term Investment Pool.

For more than a decade, the Class has been helping to fund one of the most practical national student aid programs on the Hill. Currently, the Frank and Rosa Rhodes Tradition Fellowship provides a bit more than $7,000 per year to students who fulfill work and volunteer requirements, as well as maintain a specific grade point average. But what’s unique about this program is that the monies go toward reducing student loans. In other words, if a student qualifies for four years, he or she can reduce his/her student loan bill by much as $28,000. Since 1995, we’ve helped 14 students to do just that.

Here is the list of our recipients and a profile of Anja Samardzija, our Fellow for the past three years.

1995-96          Lowell Frank ‘99, MD ’03. MD, AB from Arts & Sciences, MD from Weill Cornell Medical College
1995-96          Kelly Irvine ’00, Ohio, architecture major.
1996-97          Frank Lowell ‘99
1996-97          Kelly Irvine ‘00
1997-98          Sahar Shirazi ’01, ’05 (JD). Beaumont, Texas; Psychology/Women’s Studies, Arts and Sciences
1997-99          Lowell Frank ‘99,
1999-03          Kylie Quesnel ’04, VT, BS from Ag & Life Sciences
2003-04          Brett Fedigan ’07. NY, BS Applied Econ and Manage./Ag & Life Sci.
2004-06          Thomas Pastuszak ’06, NY/Briarwood; AB/Biol Sci/Arts & Sci.
2005-09          Betsey Howland ’09, NY/Canbor; BS in Animal Sc,/Ag & Life Sci.
2009-10          Luis Corzo ’14, NY, BS/BAR from AAP
2010-13          Janelle Boyd‘13, NY, BS from Agriculture & Life Sciences
2013-14          Reinaldo Hernandez ’17, FL, BS from College of Engineering
2014-15          Diane Tarira ’18, NY, AB from College of Arts & Sciences
2015-17          Joseph Zolik ’19, Germany, of College Arts & Science,
2017-21          Anja Samardzija ’21, College of Engineering


Since 2017 our fellow has been an ambitious and accomplished young woman. Her name is Anja Samardzija and she’s now in her third year in Cornell’s College of Engineering. Our fellowship recipients have come from many varied backgrounds, and Anja’s story is no different. She is a native of Serbia, where she spent eight years studying specialized mathematics. Her family brought her to the U.S. but, after one year, decided to move back to their country.

Not so Anja who, as a high school senior, decided to live “all alone, an ocean away from my parents, in order to pursue a higher education in the United States.” And so, for two years, she lived alone in the town of Highlands, New Jersey on the Jersey shore. But, says Anja, her sacrifices paid off “when I was accepted into my dream school: Cornell University.” Why Cornell? Because of its “exceptional engineering program, great diversity and beautiful campus.”

Her goals are daunting—at least to us. She is going into research in computer science and is involved in the Cornell data science program. Her “brilliant professors” have inspired her to go to grad school and work in academia. Anja has already obtained a chair position in the Society of Women Engineers. She pledged Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and, if that’s not enough, she works at the student center on North Campus. But, in a letter to us, she wanted to make sure the Class of ’62 knew how grateful she is for the $4000 stipend, which has lessened her financial burden as she pursues her goals. Says Anja: “Cornell is the best thing that has happened to me.”

And our class wishes her the very best of good fortune in the future.

Anja Samardzija - Rhodes Winner

Anja Samardzija