University of Pittsburgh
August 24, 2004

Pitt Announces Winner of Newly Created Nelson Mandela Children's Fund Scholarship

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—Carol Mothupi, from the Clocolan District of South Africa, has been chosen as the first recipient of The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh; she will begin her studies at Pitt this fall. The scholarship, which provides free tuition and a stipend for four academic years, honors Nelson Mandela, champion of South Africa's antiapartheid movement who spent 28 years in prison for his antigovernment activities and, after being released, served as president of South Africa from 1994 through 1999.

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg announced the creation of the Mandela Scholarship in 1999, when he and Pitt alumnus and then-University Trustee Herbert Douglas (EDU '48, '50G) traveled to South Africa to present Mandela with the International Amateur Athletic Association's (IAAA) Jesse Owens Global Award. Douglas, 1948 Olympic Bronze Medal winner for the long jump, is founder and president emeritus of IAAA. The Mandela Scholarship resulted from discussions between Nordenberg and Douglas.

"The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh honors the extraordinary legacy of a man whose crusade for equality stands as a beacon for generations of gifted and ambitious students, both those in South Africa, and, indeed, throughout the world," said Chancellor Nordenberg. "We are delighted to welcome Carol Mothupi to our campus as the first recipient of this important and inspiring scholarship."

Born in the rural township of Hlohloloane, near Clocolan, Mothupi has excelled academically, despite many social and economic disadvantages. One of three children raised in a three-room house by her widowed mother, Mothupi was named Head Girl, among other honors, during her matriculation year at Clocolan High School. She was regarded by her teachers as one of the most gifted children ever to be taught at the school.

When applying for the Pitt Mandela Scholarship, Mothupi wrote in her essay of her lifelong interest in medicine. "To me, being a doctor is doing meaningful work and impacting and changing people's lives in more ways than one. I would also like to fill the gap caused by a lack of doctors in our country and in my immediate environment of Clocolan, where a township child has never yet qualified as a doctor." She also wrote of the influence her high school principal had on her life. Mothupi said the principal told her and fellow students to "aim high—always for the moon so that, even if we miss, we'd still be among the stars. This did wonders for my spirit."

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