Peter Merritt ’12 has won a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University next year. He is one of eight Gilman alumni to have received the prestigious award since its creation in the early 20th Century. Peter will represent his native country of Bermuda.
A 2016 Yale graduate with a double major in political science and economics, Peter currently works as a paralegal in New York. He plans to pursue an M.Phil. in politics at Oxford.
So how did a Gilman graduate earn a Rhodes Scholarship representing Bermuda? Peter’s family moved from Bermuda to Baltimore when he was 11 in order to provide better educational opportunities for their children. “We were looking to move to an East Coast city that had frequent flights home, a good school for my brother and a good school for me. Everything just fell into place in Baltimore, and of all the schools that I looked at up and down the coast I couldn’t have chosen a better fit than Gilman,” said Peter. He started at Gilman in sixth grade, and his brother attended the Baltimore Lab School.
During their stay in Baltimore, the family returned to the island during holidays and summers. But “Baltimore was more than just a home away from home, and Gilman in particular played a large role in shaping who I am today. The school offers so much to its students in terms of academics, athletics, and extracurricular opportunities, making it easy for them to find what they love and pursue it,” said Peter.
While at Gilman, Peter played in the jazz band and was captain of the varsity track and field team. He was a champion high jumper and was the anchor on the Championship 4×400 and 4×800 relay team, which set a record of 7:08.0 that still stands.
Johnnie Foreman, Jr. was his academic advisor as well as track coach. “He became involved in every aspect of my high school life, and was just the person I needed to motivate me at times when balancing school, sports and everything else became a little overwhelming,” said Peter.
“Peter was a good kid who has grown into a great young man. It was a pleasure working with him, both as a student and an athlete,” said Mr. Foreman about his advisee.
Peter took the lesson of balancing his work and interests to heart. In recent years, he has taken up marathon running. He also spent a summer cycling across the United States.
Evan Behrle ’10, Gilman’s most recent Rhodes recipient, completed his scholarship in 2016.
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