- The Award
- Apply from U.K.
- Apply from Penn
- Scholars & Alumni
- Thouron Community
The AWARD WAS ESTABLISHED in 1960 by Sir John Thouron and his American wife, Lady Thouron, to promote closer ties between the people of the United Kingdom and the United States. It is among the most prestigious and generous academic scholarships in the world, giving young people of outstanding ability and open minds the means to study, travel and immerse themselves in the life of their host country. Scholars are chosen not only for their academic achievements, but for their ability to engage with one another and take an active part in a changing world. They are expected to act as student-ambassadors, putting their energy and intellect to work strengthening the ties between two great nations.
FOR BRITISH GRADUATES
Study at Penn
Granted every year to as many as ten final-year students or recent graduates from any university in the United Kingdom, the Thouron Award pays full tuition, fees and health insurance for up to two years of post-graduate study at the University of Pennsylvania. Students can apply to any of the scores of programmes in Penn’s twelve graduate schools; for those accepted into a PhD program, Penn typically funds the tuition and fees after the second year. Scholars also receive an annual stipend to cover living costs and to encourage entertainment and travel; for 2015-16, the stipend will be $31,500.
FOR PENN GRADUATES
Study in the U.K.
Each year, the Thouron Award is given to four to six graduating seniors, recent graduates, professional students, or graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania. The award covers full tuition and fees for up to two years at any degree-granting programme in the U.K. In addition, an annual stipend is provided to cover living costs and to encourage entertainment and travel; for 2015-16, the stipend will be £17,100 outside London, £19,500 in London.
JOIN THE FAMILY
FAMILY PLAYS AN IMPORTANT role in the Thouron Award, and not only because of the continuing close involvement of Sir John’s descendants and their spouses. It’s also because Scholars are selected in part for their ability to engage with the world and with one another; as a result, present and former Scholars make up an extended network that by now has more than 700 members around the world. Good parties are part of the Thouron tradition!
SIR JOHN RUPERT HUNT THOURON, CBE, KBE
1907 – 2007
The son of a British mother and an American father, Sir John was raised in England. As a young man he moved to Scotland, and upon the outbreak of World War II he enlisted in the Gordon Highlanders. He was later commissioned in the Black Watch. He served as a paratrooper and later a member of the Special Allied Airborne Reconnaissance Force. His marriage to Esther Driver du Pont brought him to live in the countryside of southeastern Pennsylvania, where over decades he developed extensive English-style gardens at the couple’s estate, Doe Run. An acclaimed horticulturalist, he produced a clear yellow lily called Clivia Sir John Thouron that was put on the market only when the commercial nursery agreed to donate some of the profits to the Thouron Award. His lifelong contributions to British-American relations were recognized when he was knighted aboard the royal yacht Britannia on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1976 visit for the bicentennial of American independence.
ESTHER DRIVER du PONT THOURON, LADY THOURON
1908 – 1984
“Essie” Thouron, born in Delaware, was a member of the Du Pont family of American industrialists. A noted philanthropist and horse breeder, she helped build the clinic and hospital at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center. In 1967 Penn awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Humanities in recognition of her generous support of the British-American educational exchange.
JOHN JULIUS THOURON
1934 – 2006
“Tiger” Thouron, Sir John’s son, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He was a dedicated sportsman and conservationist who received the Order of the British Empire in 2003 in recognition of his more than 30 years of service to the Thouron Award. Exuberant and outgoing, he brought a new energy to the program; it was under his stewardship that its mission broadened beyond academia to include the lifelong fellowship, personal connections and international community that characterize it today.
JOHN RUPERT THOURON
Rupert, Tiger’s son, was born in Miami, Florida and spent his childhood in England. A business executive, fly fisherman and avid sailor, he is vice chairman of the Thouron Award executive and selection committees. With his wife Jan, Rupert oversees the Thouron Prize, an undergraduate summer scholarship program. They live in Vermont, where the Thouron family hosts an annual week-long ski holiday for Scholars – whether they ski or not.
RACHEL THOURON VERE NICOLL
Tiger’s daughter was born and spent her childhood in England. A former teacher – and current tutor – she is a board member of the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virgnia. Besides serving on the British and American selection committees, Rachel is actively connected to the Thouron Community year-round: she is in charge of alumni relations, maintaining close ties with many former Scholars, and welcoming each year’s students to explore the scenic and historic Virginia countryside where she lives with her family.
EMILY AND HANNAH VERE NICOLL
Sir John’s great-granddaughters – Rachel’s daughters – have active careers in theater and film. Both hold dual U.K./U.S. citizenship and are involved in the Thouron selection interviews in London and in Philadelphia.