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New Mexico State University

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Endowed writing scholarship established in NMSU Department of English

A $125,000 endowed scholarship has been established in New Mexico State University's Department of English.

the first fully endowed writing scholarship in the department.
The Mary L. and Ellis Wright Endowed Writing Scholarship was created through a gift of stock from VioDell and Gene Gosnell of Silver City. Mary L. Wright, mother of VioDell Gosnell, was a columnist for the "Silver City Enterprise" and "New Mexico Magazine" during the 1960s. Her husband, Ellis, worked for the federal government.

"My father quit school in the fourth grade," said VioDell Gosnell. "My mother worked and wrote without the benefit of a high school education. I established this scholarship to honor my mother's legacy and help someone who doesn't have enough money to pay for college."

Mary L. Wright never studied beyond the eighth grade. After her father died when she was 13, she taught herself how to read and write. Also, she spent her early years working on a ranch before serving as postmaster in Red Rock, New Mexico.

"The scholarship, which will provide support to students for up to five continuous years of study, will allow us to recruit outstanding students to pursue their studies in writing at NMSU," said Harriet Linkin, academic head of the Department of English. "This fund will enhance our efforts to achieve national recognition."

Bob Nosbisch
March 4, 2006