Northwestern Spanish scholarship endowed with a little help from friends

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Northwestern Spanish scholarship endowed with a little help from friends

Thanks to the efforts of the Northwestern Spanish Club and the Department of English, Foreign Language and Humanities faculty, along with many friends and supporters, students seeking an undergraduate major or minor in Spanish at Northwestern Oklahoma State University can now receive scholarship assistance. Recently established, the Dorothy Day Spanish Scholarship was named for Dr. Dorothy Day, retired professor and founder of the Spanish program.

Day began her career at Northwestern in 1988. She was initially hired to teach foreign language and English, but she began the formalized Spanish program in the fall of 2001. Although most of the current students and Spanish Club members may have never personally met Day, her legacy provided the groundwork for the distinguished Spanish program that exists at Northwestern today.

“I can tell you that I am delighted that two students will be receiving help on their tuition this coming fall,” Day said. “Since I have been retired since 2003, I am assuming that many who worked on that project do not even know me. Please convey my utmost gratitude to everyone who played a part in this significant milestone.”

During her career at Northwestern, Day received the John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service award for her excellence in teaching in 2003. Upon her retirement, Day moved to McAllen, Texas, where she currently resides. She enjoys keeping up with activities on campus through the Northwestern News and visits Northwestern as often as she can.

The Northwestern Spanish Club, under the advisement of Spanish professors Dr. Francisco Martinez and Dr. Claudia Young, has hosted cultural events on campus, such as the Day of the Dead and Cinco de Mayo celebrations, taco dinners and salsa-dancing lessons to raise funds and awareness for the Dorothy Day Spanish Scholarship. Martinez, who has played an integral role in endowing this scholarship, is pleased to see the fruits of his and others’ labor come to fruition.

“At first the scholarship seemed a long way off, but now it’s a reality,” Martinez said. “It took us some time to get to where we are, but we were always thinking of ways to help our students with funding because they deserve it. Our students are what make us proud as educators. We look forward to meeting our first scholarship recipients.”

Full-time continuing Spanish students with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average are eligible for the Dorothy Day Spanish Scholarship. Applicants must be either a Spanish major or minor who has completed three semesters of Spanish coursework. The scholarship may be applied toward university-related expenses, such as tuition, fees, room, board or books.

For more information about investing in Northwestern students, call Skeeter Bird, Northwestern Foundation CEO, at 580-327-8599 or email him at