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Rhodes Scholar: Florence native will go from Princeton to Oxford University

November 27, 2018

John Hoffmeyer, who is a Florence native, has been selected as a 2019 Rhodes Scholar. Hoffmeyer will attend Oxford University next Fall.

FLORENCE, S.C. – Florence native John Hoffmeyer will attend Oxford University next fall as a 2019 Rhodes Scholar.

Hoffmeyer, who was selected as one of 32 scholars, will finish his comparative literature degree at Princeton University in May and will study for a one-year master’s degree in modern languages – specifically focusing on French, German and Spanish.

Hoffmeyer said he’s excited to get to know other Rhodes scholars and students while at Oxford.

“Having conversations with people like that and getting to know them has been a really special part of my college career, and so I’m really excited to get to know other Rhodes Scholars and my classmates at Oxford just to have that kind of mutually enriching experience,” Hoffmeyer said.

During his time at Princeton, Hoffmeyer minored in Chinese and music performance.

Hoffmeyer, who is a pianist, also helped cofound the Princeton Chamber Music Society, an organization that helps connect musicians and provide them with opportunities to play chamber music.

“It’s a really different way to engage with music,” Hoffmeyer said. “It’s always been really important to me, and while I did get chamber music opportunities my freshman and sophomore year in college, I felt like a lot of the musicians I knew wanted the chance to play but didn’t get the chance to just because there was no organization or structure in place to do so.”

The organization has a 100 percent acceptance rate, and after the audition, the group pairs musicians with others who fit in experience and time commitment levels. The group also seeks to allow interdisciplinary work between academics and music.

Since the group’s creation last fall, they’ve had a few performances and grown to approximately 70 active members, Hoffmeyer said.

Hoffmeyer said he hopes to continue encouraging interdisciplinary work with music and academics at Oxford as he has with Princeton.

Hoffmeyer said he knew about the Rhodes Scholarship, but he didn’t plan on applying at first.

“I was aware of the program and everything, but I was not really thinking of applying until one of my friends at school was applying and asked me if I was applying and I told him ‘No, I don’t think that is for me. I don’t think I’m a good candidate,’” Hoffmeyer said. “He convinced me to reach out to the fellowship or advising on campus.”

Hoffmeyer found out he was accepted earlier this month.

Hoffmeyer grew up in Florence, attending the Montessori School of Florence, Williams Middle School for the International Baccalaureate program and West Florence High School for one year. Hoffmeyer then went to Phillip’s Academy in Andover, Mass.

Hoffmeyer said he got his start in music from his grandmother Margaret Hoffmeyer. She taught him to read music and play hymns. He also said his mother, Johanna Hoffmeyer, and his aunt Meg Hoffmeyer have supported his music and academic endeavors.

According to the Rhodes Scholarship website, the Rhodes Scholarship was started in 1902 for students who are outstanding scholars and are committed to others for the common good. Each year, 32 scholars are selected from across the U.S. and other countries.

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