EKU Honors Scholar and Colonel quarterback Tyler Swafford will interview Saturday morning, Nov. 19, in Washington, D.C., for one of the nation’s most prestigious academic scholarships and then play that afternoon in his team's season finale at home against Eastern Illinois.
Swafford’s 30-minute interview for the George J. Mitchell Scholarship is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. He will then fly back to Kentucky and is expected to be on the sideline at Roy Kidd Stadium at approximately noon. The game is now scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
Swafford, a senior from Brentwood, Tennessee, has a 4.0 grade-point-average while majoring in globalization and international affairs, and minoring in business. He will graduate in May 2017.
“Tyler Swafford is among the most insightful and hardest working students in the EKU Honors Program,” said EKU Honors Director Dr. David Coleman. “In addition to epitomizing scholarly excellence, Tyler has demonstrated in multiple ways his deep concern for human rights issues and service to humanity, especially through service work at an orphanage in Haiti and his volunteer work with Kentucky Refugee Ministries. I am confident that he is going to make an enormously positive impact on our world as he pursues his professional dream of becoming a human rights lawyer.”
The Mitchell Scholarship Program is a national, competitive scholarship sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance. The scholarship has become so popular that in the previous three years, of the 10 individuals to be offered both a Mitchell Scholarship and Rhodes Scholarship interview, eight opted for the Mitchell.
From more than 300 applicants, 80 were selected as semifinalists and of those, 20 were chosen as finalists. Those 20 will be cut to no more than 12 through the interview process on Saturday.
The scholarship program, named to honor former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell's pivotal contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process, is designed to introduce and connect generations of future American leaders to the island of Ireland, while recognizing and fostering intellectual achievement, leadership, and a commitment to community and public service.
Up to 12 Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one academic year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Applicants are judged on three criteria: scholarship, leadership, and a sustained commitment to community and public service. The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides tuition, accommodation, a stipend for living expenses and travel.
On the field Swafford, a redshirt sophomore, has started three games this season, including each of the past two contests. He has thrown for 860 yards and has tossed five touchdown passes, adding one rushing touchdown. Two weeks ago, Swafford threw for a career-best 289 yards against Murray State. This past weekend, the signal-caller completed 15 of 26 passes while throwing for 182 yards. He had two touchdown passes and did not throw an interception while leading EKU to a 67-30 victory. The 67 points tied the program record set in 1925.
Sen. Mitchell served as chairman of the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland. In 1995, he served as a special adviser to President Bill Clinton on Ireland, and from 1996 to 2000 he served as the Independent Chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks. Under his leadership, the Good Friday Agreement, an historic accord ending decades of conflict, was agreed to by the governments of Ireland and the United Kingdom and the political parties of Northern Ireland. For his service in Northern Ireland, Mitchell received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. Government; the Philadelphia Liberty Medal; the Truman Institute Peace Prize; and the United Nations (UNESCO) Peace Prize.
The University's Office of National and International Scholarships and Fellowships, housed in EKU Honors, assists students with the deliberation and application process. The Office offers individual advising assistance to all EKU students in determining appropriate fellowships or scholarships to pursue, coordinating application materials, selecting recommenders, preparing compelling personal statements, developing project proposals or proposed programs of study, and interviewing. For more information, contact Coordinator Dr. Minh Nguyen at 622-8667 or firstname.lastname@example.org.