Established last year and funded by the American, Irish and British governments as well as private donors, the scholarships are named for the former senator who played a vital role in the Northern Ireland peace negotiations. The board, whose other members include Jean Kennedy Smith and Irish Ambassador to the United States Sean O Huiginn, will select the first Mitchell Scholars for the 2000-2001 academic year.
"This is a very meaningful honor," said O'Neill, co-director of the Irish Studies Program, "and it testifies to the visibility Boston College and the Irish Studies Program both enjoy."
Students who qualify for the one-year scholarships will be eligible to attend seven universities in the Republic of Ireland and two universities in Northern Ireland.
"We'll be looking at candidates whose scholarly interests go beyond the purely academic," O'Neill said. "Their work should be tied to such areas as human rights and public service - issues that have been of great concern to George Mitchell."
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