A current commander of a special operations forces team on a classified mission in Iraq who has completed more than 25 elite athletic competitions and the producer and star of Guy Dances Across China in 100 Days are among the first batch of Schwarzman Scholars, the master's degree programme at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
The inventor of a commercial-grade solar oven capable of baking 300 loaves of bread in two hours is also on the list of chosen, which is so illustrious that you can’t help wonder why they are bothering with a post-grad as they are clearly on their way to Masters of the Universe status.
"The calibre of this first class of Schwarzman Scholars is truly exceptional. Each scholar has demonstrated tremendous leadership potential at a young age and differentiated themselves through a myriad of academic and non-academic pursuits," said Stephen Schwarzman, the Blackstone chief who is the programme's founder.
“It is my intention that the Schwarzman Scholars will return home and provide leadership in a changing, complex and dynamic world. I have every confidence that this class will be such leaders.”
In all, 111 Schwarzman Scholars were selected from more than 3,000 applicants, making the programme one of the most selective in the world with an acceptance rate of 3.7 per cent.
The first class of scholars is composed of students from 32 countries and 75 universities with 44 per cent from the United States, 21 per cent from China and 35 per cent from the rest of the world.
The class will take classes and live at the newly constructed Schwarzman College on the Tsinghua campus. Expenses for each scholar are fully funded by the programme.