He raps, acts, does improve comedy – and is the University of Manitoba’s 97th Rhodes Scholar.
A fourth-year English and psychology honours student, Thomas Toles has an outstanding record of academic excellence, having won a number of scholarships such as Isbister Scholarships in both Arts and University 1, the Aikins Scholarship in English Language and Literature and the Victor S. Cowie Memorial Scholarship in the Performing Arts. He has been a President’s Scholar since 2009, maintaining a minimum GPA greater than 4.0 with a minimum 80 per cent course load. That’s no small feat given he found time to establish himself as an actor, musician and director.
Thomas has had roles in numerous plays for The Black Hole Theatre and his play Orphans was picked by CBC Manitoba as the favourite local production at the 2012 Winnipeg Fringe Festival. In film, Thomas has been in Guy Maddin’s Hauntings (2012) and worked on Keyhole (2010). He helped direct and act in a music video, formed the improv comedy group Double Mermaid and created the independent theatre company The 28th Minute.
Perhaps the most prestigious international graduate scholarship in the world, the Rhodes Scholarship supports outstanding all-round students at the University of Oxford, where Thomas plans on studying English and film aesthetics.
The University of Manitoba continues to attract and nurture students who are among the world’s best and brightest and is one of the leading institutions in Canada for the number of Rhodes Scholars.