Embassy of Paraguay Ambassador Manuel Cáceres (left) and Ohio Wesleyan University President Rock Jones and sign a Memorandum of Understanding on Jan. 10 creating a new Rutherford B. Hayes Scholarship Program to support Paraguay’s best and brightest high school students. Hayes, a Delaware native, is an important figure in Paraguay’s history. (Photo by Reilly Wright)

The Paraguay Connection

Ohio Wesleyan Creates New International Scholarship Remembering Rutherford B. Hayes

By Cole Hatcher

DELAWARE, Ohio – In 1878, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, a native of Delaware, Ohio, took action that helped the Republic of Paraguay to survive and thrive.* Today, with the help of another Delaware president, Hayes continues to aid the South American country.

In October, Ohio Wesleyan University President Rock Jones met Ambassador Manuel Cáceres from the Embassy of Paraguay as part of the unveiling of the Hayes commemorative statue in downtown Delaware. Their discussions have resulted in a new Rutherford B. Hayes Scholarship Program that will benefit Paraguay’s best and brightest high school students.

“We are excited to strengthen our ties with Paraguay and support the educational aspirations of its youth while also highlighting the Hayes legacy,” said Jones, Ph.D. “For those who don’t know, Rutherford proposed to his wife, Lucy, on our campus, and she took classes at the Ohio Wesleyan Female College, which later became part of Ohio Wesleyan University. Rutherford also served as a member of the OWU Board of Trustees.”

Through the new Hayes Scholarship Program, Ohio Wesleyan will offer one full-tuition scholarship each year to a student from Paraguay based on grades, test scores, and a virtual interview. The scholarship currently is valued at nearly $47,000 per year.

In addition, Ohio Wesleyan will offer up to five $40,000 scholarships each year to admitted Paraguayan students who have at least a 3.4 GPA and a minimum 1250 SAT or 26 ACT score.

Throughout its history, Ohio Wesleyan has been committed to providing a globally focused liberal arts education, Jones said, and the Hayes Scholarship Program will help to bring new voices and insights to the OWU campus.

During the current academic year, Ohio Wesleyan has students from more than 30 countries on campus, with flags from each represented country displayed in University Hall lobby, just outside the president’s office.

“We look forward to adding Paraguay’s flag to our display,” Jones said, “and the location is especially fitting. In the same lobby, we showcase a large, ornately framed mirror gifted to us from the Hayes White House.”

Ambassador Cáceres also emphasized the importance of President Hayes’ legacy and the creation of new opportunities for Paraguayans.

“To this day, Paraguay is profoundly grateful for President Rutherford B. Hayes’ arbitral award, which offered a glimpse of hope after one of the darkest episodes in our country’s history,” he said. “President Hayes is seen as a hero in Paraguay, and these scholarships will further elevate his legacy by allowing our youth to pursue studies in an institution that not only maintains strong ties to the Hayes’ family history, but also offers an unparalleled academic experience in a challenging and diverse educational environment.

“Ohio Wesleyan University’s Rutherford B. Hayes Scholarship Program is an amazing opportunity that will strengthen the bonds between the birthplace of President Hayes and Paraguay,” Cáceres said, “and I share Dr. Jones’ excitement for what is now becoming a reality.”

Kristin Crosby, Ed.M., Ohio Wesleyan’s director of international admission, said the university is ready to begin accepting applications right away and could award its first Hayes scholarships in time for fall.

“We can’t wait to welcome these new students to campus, to hear their voices, and to help them reach their goals with the help of our rigorous curriculum and mentoring professors,” Crosby said.

Learn more about enrolling at Ohio Wesleyan, including international admission opportunities, at www.owu.edu/admission.

* In 1878, U.S President Rutherford B. Hayes was selected as an international arbiter to solve a territorial dispute between Paraguay and Argentina following the Triple Alliance War (1865-1870). His decision to grant Paraguay the sovereign rights over the lands between the Pilcomayo and Verde rivers was crucial in the country’s history, and further enabled the legal protection of Paraguay’s territorial integrity in the 20th century.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 90 undergraduate majors and competes in 25 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through Ohio Wesleyan’s signature OWU Connection program, students integrate knowledge across disciplines, build a diverse and global perspective, and apply their knowledge in real-world settings. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.