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winter 2018
Donovan Hicks

Hicks becomes Wofford's first Mitchell Scholar

2016 graduate to study race, ethnicity and conflict in Ireland.

Donovan Hicks ’16 has been selected as one of a dozen members of the 2018 Class of George J. Mitchell Scholars by the US-Ireland Alliance. He is Wofford’s first Mitchell Scholar.

The scholarship program, created nearly 20 years ago by Trina Vargo, founder of the US-Ireland Alliance, attracted 323 applicants for the 12 scholarships named in honor of the former Maine senator’s contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process. Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service. They will spend a year of postgraduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland. 

“Studying race could never be more timely, especially in a country famous for its ethno-racial conflicts and peace negotiations,” Hicks says. “It is not an easy choice, but it is a purposed and necessary choice. ... I am proud to represent Wofford, and think of this as more of a win for Wofford and its community than myself.”

Hicks hopes more students will have the courage to apply for the prestigious fellowships that suit their needs, such as Fulbright, Marshall, Mitchell, Gates Cambridge and Rhodes. 

“I’ve found that Wofford students can compete right beside the students of the Harvard, Princeton and Yale universities of the world and shine,” he says.

Hicks, a native of Spartanburg, graduated from Wofford with degrees in government and finance; he is also a Gates Millennium Scholar, a Bonner Scholar and a Truman Scholar. Hicks recently completed a research stay at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality. An aspiring civil rights attorney, he is a federal analyst at Deloitte.

As a Mitchell Scholar, Hicks will study race, ethnicity and conflict at Trinity College Dublin beginning in September 2017.

“While it’s not surprising that the Mitchell Scholarship Program recognizes Donovan’s merit, I’m excited that he will have this unique opportunity,” says Dr. John Ware, chairman of Wofford’s Post-graduate Scholarships Committee. “Winning the Mitchell Scholarship is testimony to Donovan’s intellect, vision and effort. He made innumerable contributions to the Wofford community while he was here, and I look forward to hearing about his future endeavors and success.”

by Laura Hendrix Corbin