Each year, shortly after the new class of Thouron Award recipients are announced, we are pleased to host a luncheon in Philadelphia to welcome the newest Scholars and introduce them to the Thouron Family, their fellow Scholars and Alumni, and our administrative staff. 

This is a rare opportunity for both the American students currently attending Penn as undergraduates who will be headed to the U.K. for their graduate studies the next Fall and those British scholars who are currently at Penn for their graduate studies to come together and be celebrated. 

Rupert Thouron shaking hands and giving a tie to a new Thouron Scholar at the Welcome Party at UPenn
Rupert Thouron presents a tie to Michael John, Am’22, who is currently working towards his M.A. in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies at University College London. Photo by Lucy Baber Photography.
American and British Scholars gather with local Alumni and the Thouron Family at the annual Tie and Scarf Luncheon in Philadelphia. Lucy Baber Photography.

What Is the Tie and Scarf Ceremony?

In addition to a delicious meal and opportunity to connect with peers, this luncheon includes a Tie and Scarf Ceremony, during which Rupert Thouron presents each of the new Scholars with either a tie or scarf with the Thouron emblems, depending on their personal preference.

Scholars and Alumni are encouraged to don their Thouron tie or scarf to celebrate and showcase their role as a member of this strong community. This tradition has been ongoing for many years, and is one of our favourite gatherings of the year.

Srinidhi Ramakrishna, Am’23, chat with fellow Scholars and Alumni while wearing the Thouron scarf at our annual welcome luncheon in Philadelphia. Srinidhi is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in the Social Science of the Internet. Lucy Baber Photography.

History of the Tie and Scarf Designs

The design of the ties and scarves includes the blue and gold colours of the Thouron Award branding, as well as an emblem of an eagle and a lion. The eagle represents our American community and the lion represents our British community. Years ago, “Tiger” Thouron, decided to create an illustration that highlights the strong bond between the U.S. and the U.K. and the result was this design. 

“Tiger” Thouron, 1934-2006.

Tiger was born in Edinburgh, U.K., and was the son of Thouron Award founders, Sir John Rupert Hunt Thouron, CBE, KBE, and Lady Thouron. He was father to Rupert Thouron and Rachel Thouron Vere Nicoll, who currently manage the Award. Tiger passed away in 2006.

Learn more about the history of the Thouron Award.

In earlier years, this illustration was used in print materials for the Award, but since the Thouron family began the tradition of the Tie and Scarf Ceremony, this has become the most easily recognizable form of the emblems.

British Scholars studying at Penn pose for a group photo wearing their Thouron scarves and ties
Members of the British Thouron Award class of 2022 (Will Chan, Caitlin Evans, Matthew Timmons-Brown, Hazel Kerr, and Alexa Bish-Jones) pose together at the annual luncheon in Philadelphia while wearing their Thouron Ties and Scarves. Lucy Baber Photography.

Sharing Ties and Scarves with the Rest of the Thouron Community

Not all of our Scholars and Alumni have had an opportunity to attend the Tie and Scarf Luncheon in Philadelphia, especially those who were the earliest recipients of the Award. Because of this, our 60th Anniversary Celebrations that were held in London and Brooklyn, New York, this past August were an excellent opportunity for Rupert to present them to all of those in attendance.

Rupert Thouron shares a gold version of the ties and scarves to Scholars and Alumni in attendance at the 60th Anniversary Celebration in Brooklyn, August 2023. Kamila Harris Photography.

Discover more photos and memories from the 60th Anniversary Celebrations.

Getting to see all of the members of our community wearing the Thouron Award emblems proudly is truly a joy!

Rachel Thouron Vere Nicoll shares a laugh with Alumni and new Scholars after the Tie and Scarf Ceremony at our annual luncheon in Philadelphia. Lucy Baber Photography.

Apply for the Thouron Award and Join Our Community

You can learn more about the Thouron Award, our application process, and the selection process by reading the FAQs for U.S. applicants or for U.K. applicants.

If you feel confident and ready to begin your application via our online portal, please pay close attention to which application you should initiate. Applications are typically open from July through October each year for U.S. applicants, and July through mid-November for U.K. applicants.

U.S. Applicants: Apply from Penn 

U.K. Applicants: Apply from the United Kingdom