Great Books or Oxford? Why I chose St John’s

Dec 12, 2022 | Announcements, News & Media, PG News

12 December 2022: 2021 St John’s College, Annapolis Ramsay Postgraduate Scholar, Benjamin Crocker, says it is difficult to describe the magnitude of the opportunity his scholarship provides.

But the musical high achiever, an alumnus of Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s Australian Conducting Academy, and former teacher at The King’s School in Sydney, has no regrets turning down a place reading history at Oxford to attend St John’s.

“St John’s is truly a unique place, its depth and breadth of learning, its teaching model and the quality and dedication of its faculty are outstanding,” Benjamin says.

“It’s a radically traditional take on education, which is designed to refine your thinking and hone your reasoning skills, in what St John’s deems the ‘deliberately democratic classroom’.”

Since starting at St John’s in 2021, Benjamin, along with his fellow Ramsay scholars, has met twice with Australian Ambassador to the US, Arthur Sinodinos, to discuss trade, international relations, geopolitics, and Australia’s place in the world.

He has participated in a month’s long discussion forum in partnership with the US Navy, launched by Ambassador Sinodinos and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard examining ‘statesmanship’ through Lincoln’s and Churchill’s most famous writings and speeches.

He has worked for US think tank, Common Sense Society, and was appointed as teaching fellow to world-renowned scholars Niall Ferguson and Deirdre McCloskey to launch inaugural courses for the world’s newest university, the University of Austin in Texas.

Ramsay Scholars to St John’s College also have plenty of latitude to explore opportunities countrywide. Current St John’s scholars have participated in events at the American Enterprise Institute and The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, the Abigail Adams Institute at Harvard, and the James Madison program at Princeton.

“I’ve been able to visit 41 of the 50 states in the union, deepening a life-long interest in America as inheritor and principal defender of the Western intellectual tradition,” Benjamin says. “This is of course in addition to the comprehensive study of the Great Books that has stirred an even greater passion for intellectual enquiry.”

The Ramsay Centre offers a full scholarship to St John’s worth up to AUD$75,000 p.a. The scholarship covers tuition and some living expenses for the College’s Master of Arts in Liberal Arts: a two-year Great Books course exploring some of the most profound and foundational texts in history. The course includes an exciting opportunity to work in Washington, DC.

To express your interest email:

For more information visit: scholarships-courses/ postgraduate-scholarships/

Media contact: Sarah Switzer 0407 816 098/