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January 2016

Santa Clara University Alumnus Jesse Caemmerer Chosen for the Inaugural Class of Schwarzman Scholars

Santa Clara University alumnus Jesse Caemmerer has been chosen to be a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing starting in August 2016.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 11, 2016 — Santa Clara University alumnus Jesse Caemmerer has been chosen for the inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars for the Master’s degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing starting in August 2016.

“I’m honored to be selected as part of the Schwarzman Scholars’ first cohort of students. It is an exciting opportunity to advance my focus on U.S.-China relations through an immersion experience that combines academics and leadership training, and brings together Chinese and Western approaches to understand the most pressing political issues,” said Caemmerer. “I am especially looking forward to learning from such an accomplished and diverse peer group.”

The 111 Schwarzman Scholars were selected from more than 3,000 applicants, with an acceptance rate of 3.7%. The first class of Schwarzman Scholars is composed of students from 32 countries and 71 universities, with 44 percent from the United States, 21 percent from China, and 35 percent from the rest of the world. Expenses for each scholar are fully funded by the program.

Caemmerer, who hails from Bellingham, Washington, was a first-generation student at SCU and graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in politics and international relations and a minor in East & Southeast Asian regional studies. In 2013, while still at SCU, Caemmerer was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for undergraduate study abroad where he spent the Fall of 2013 in Beijing. In 2014, Caemmerer won a Rotary Global Fellowship to complete his M.S. in Strategic Studies from Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore and graduated at the top of his class. He currently works in Singapore as a personal research analyst to Ambassador Barry Desker and coordinator of the Singapore Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

“I'm so proud of Jesse for being chosen for this prestigious program. They are calling these awards the ‘China Rhodes’ because they are modeled after the Rhodes competition,” said Leilani Miller, director of the Office of Student Fellowships, University Honors Program, and LEAD Scholars Program at Santa Clara. “He is an awesome student and individual and really deserves this opportunity.”  

The selection process involved a rigorous application process designed to evaluate proven intellectual and academic ability, as well as leadership potential, strength of character, ability to anticipate emerging trends, and desire to understand other cultures, perspectives, and positions.

About Schwarzman Scholars:
Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $450 million endowment will support up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions opened in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence in 2016. Learn more at, like on Facebook at and follow on Twitter at @SchwarzmanOrg.

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

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