Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Student Receives Prestigious Mitchell Scholarship

A Georgetown student was selected as a recipient of the 2006 George J. Mitchell Scholarship last week. Benjamin Cote (COL ’05) was one of 12 students to receive the award, which is named in honor of former Senator George J. Mitchell’s (LAW ’61) (D-Maine) significant contributions to the Northern Ireland peace process.

The Mitchell Scholarship sponsors graduate-level study of any discipline within Ireland and Northern Ireland. Cote serves on the Board of Directors at THE HOYA.

“Ben is an outstanding member of the Georgetown community and I look forward to watching him lead and contribute to his community beyond Healy Gates,” University President John J. DeGioia said in a university press release. “We are proud that his leadership is being recognized with this scholarship.”

Cote, who is a mathematics and political economy major, will study Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland.

“I found out right before Thanksgiving break,” Cote said. “I felt great. I had worked hard a long time . It was amazing to see the culmination of all that hard work which led to this honor.”

Cote recalled how an unlikely course of events led him to pursue the award. He described one “providential” day his sophomore year, when his morning class was canceled and, while sitting on a bench in front of Copley, he spotted a friend from the Lecture Fund walking past.

When his friend asked him who he would like to see speak at Georgetown, Cote said George Mitchell – a fellow native of aine. He had not known that Mitchell was already scheduled to present a lecture in Riggs Library that same day.

Cote then made plans to go see George Mitchell and went to Fellowship Program Director John Glavin’s office to pick up information on a different scholarship. While picking up that folder, he accidentally also took a brochure for a fellowship program he had never heard of – the George J. Mitchell Scholarship.

Later that day he attended Mitchell’s lecture.

“[It was] an amazing speech,” Cote said. “Ever since then I knew I wanted to apply for this.”

He said he was grateful for the university’s support through the application process, putting him through mock interviews in preparation for the real thing.

“The university is supportive of anyone who is interested in getting these awards,” Cote said. Describing his summer plans, Cote said, “I’ll try do some sort of service, split half of my time in Maine and D.C., and see Mom.”

He also expressed excitement about working in Europe.

“I’ll get the opportunity to travel a lot, see Brussels,” he said. “After that I’m not exactly sure, but I can see myself doing law or work at a nonprofit.”

Cote’s passion for peace and social justice was evident early in his Georgetown career. As a student, he founded Georgetown University Men Advocating Relationship Responsibility, an organization committed to addressing gender violence. And, as a Grand Knight in Georgetown’s Knights of Columbus, Cote started the Catholic Schools Initiative working with four Washington elementary schools. He plays the saxophone and is also a recipient of the William Jefferson Clinton Scholarship.

Cote has also interned in the office of U.S. Representative Mike ichaud (D-Maine) and served in a Maine candidate’s U.S. Senate campaign.

The George J. Mitchell Scholarship, established in 1998, has selected more students from Georgetown University than any other college or university in the U.S.

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