Auburn University senior named finalist for prestigious Mitchell Scholarship

Marian RoystonAUBURN UNIVERSITY –Auburn University senior Marian Royston has been named a finalist for one of the nation’s most selective fellowships, the Mitchell Scholarship, to study in Ireland or Northern Ireland next year.

Royston, of Roanoke, Ala., is an Honors College student majoring in history and double-minoring in political science and community and civic engagement in the College of Liberal Arts. She is Auburn University’s first finalist in the Mitchell Scholars Program, which began in 2000.

The program, named to honor former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell’s contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is sponsored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance to introduce future American leaders to the island of Ireland. Only 12 students in the U.S. are selected annually for the fellowship that is based on scholarship, leadership and a commitment to community and public service.

Royston will travel to Washington, D.C., Nov. 16-17 to interview with program officials for possible selection as a recipient.

“Marian is a conscientious, kind and caring individual,” said Paul Harris, Auburn University associate director for national prestigious scholarships. “I do not have the words to adequately express my supreme confidence in Marian as someone who will change the world for the better. She is going places and is going to leave a mark.”

In addition to her studies at Auburn, Royston has participated in the Appalachian Community Development Alternative Spring Break; she is an afterschool tutor at Notasulga middle school and high school; she has been an on-campus resident assistant at Auburn for the past three years; and last summer she was a Living Democracy Fellow in Hobson City, Alabama’s first African-American municipality.

“Entering Auburn, I knew I wanted to prepare myself to positively influence the lives of others living in rural towns like my hometown of Roanoke, so I decided on a career in public interest law,” Royston said. “In retrospect, I realize that I neither fully understood the magnitude of the rural crisis nor believed that there was a way I could personally work toward fixing the problem. My college experiences have helped me find the link between my past and future while still allowing me the opportunity to impact the world in a meaningful way.”

Mark Wilson, director of community and civic engagement in the College of Liberal Arts, said, “I have encountered few students who have the combinations of commitment, work ethic, intellect and empathy that Marian possesses.”

(Written by Charles Martin.)

Contacts: Mike Clardy, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999, (clardch@auburn.edu); or

Charles Martin, Office of Communications and Marketing, (334) 844-9999, (marticd@auburn.edu)