UNE Mitchell Scholars and Mitchell Institute honored at annual breakfast

Group shot of breakfast gathering
UNE administrators, representatives of the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute, and students gathered for the annual breakfast honoring Mitchell Scholars

UNE held its annual Mitchell Institute Scholars Breakfast on September 28, 2021, in honor of the University’s Mitchell Scholars and in appreciation of the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute.

“It was such a pleasure to spend time with our Mitchell Scholars,” stated James Herbert, president of the University of New England. “These amazing young women and men come from all corners of Maine and are leaders within our community. I love getting to know them and tracking their development over the course of their undergraduate journey.”

The Mitchell Institute Scholarships were established in 1994 by U.S. Senator George Mitchell to expand and improve educational opportunities for Maine students. Each year, the Mitchell Institute awards a scholarship to one graduating senior from every high school in Maine. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic promise, community impact, and financial need.

Since the scholarship’s inception, 140 Mitchell Scholars have chosen the University of New England as their institution of higher education. There are currently 21 Mitchell Scholars enrolled as undergraduates, six former Mitchell Scholars are enrolled in our graduate or advanced degree programs, and one former Mitchell Scholar is a staff member at UNE.

One Mitchell Scholar in attendance, Meghan Cookson (Medical Biology, ’22), says she will be pursuing a Master of Science degree in Forensic Science.

“I always knew I wanted to help people and I thought I would have to be a doctor or someone in the medical profession to do so,” she explained. “Then I discovered forensic science and I realized I can use my medical degree to help solve cold cases and bring closure to families who have lost loved ones.”

The scholarships provide much more than college tuition assistance. The Mitchell Institute offers a variety of programs and resources to its scholars and actively pursues lasting relationships with them beyond their years in college.

“One of our guiding ideas at the Mitchell Institute is that we offer more than a scholarship,” stated James Patefield, project associate at the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute. “All Mitchell Scholars can access our suite of signature events and customizable resources to ensure that they have the tools they need to succeed. UNE has been an excellent partner in promoting these opportunities and we are so grateful for the University’s help. All of the Mitchell Scholars attending this breakfast have engaged with the Institute in some way. We usually find that coming to an event like this welcome celebration can lead to other engagement and learning about resources that are available.”

 President Herbert says he is grateful to Senator Mitchell for his vision in establishing the scholarship program.

“The Mitchell Scholarship program dovetails with UNE’s mission of making high-quality higher education accessible to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it and supporting students on their educational journey,” commented Herbert.

President Herbert
President James Herbert addresses the breakfast attendees
Meghan Cookson
Mitchell Scholar Meghan Cookson
Mitchell Scholars
Twenty-one Mitchell Scholars are currently enrolled as undergraduates at UNE

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