NEWBERRY — Newberry College is now offering a scholarship for foreign language students, thanks to the generosity of a deceased alumnus.
The Estate of Nicholas P. Mitchell, Class of 1918, has set aside $250,000 to establish a permanent endowment fund. The scholarships are designed for students who are majoring or minoring in a foreign language and who have a financial need. The college currently offers a major and minor in Spanish, as well as basic and intermediate courses in German.
“We are grateful to be able to award the Nicholas P. Mitchell Fellowship in Foreign Languages,” said Pat Gagliano, Acting Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. “When our students study languages at Newberry College, they make themselves more attractive for future employment and become more engaged citizens in our global society.”
According to the 1918 Newberry College yearbook, Mitchell was born in Greece. He came to America when he was 15, and in 1911 he opened a candy and fruit business in Newberry. Three years later, he enrolled at Newberry College, where he was a Fellow of the Excelsior Literary Society, an avid debater, orator, and class poet. He became a US citizen in his freshman year, according to newspaper reports.
“His poetic and oratorical abilities are well known and he deserves special credit for his work at Newberry on account of the disability in which he worked,” the yearbook’s editors wrote, presumably referring to the fact that English was Mitchell’s second language.
“Part of Newberry College’s stated mission is to prepare our students to become engaged global citizens, and foreign languages are central to that endeavour,” said David Rachels, Ph.D. humanities and English teacher. “Therefore, this generous donation could not be more appropriate or more appreciated.”