Nichols College News

Alumnus Endows Scholarship for Dyslexic Students

Nichols alumnus James D. Wagner ’59 has established an endowed scholarship fund bearing his name and dedicated specifically for Nichols students with dyslexia.

In making the gift of nearly $380,000 – the largest outright scholarship gift in the College’s history – to create the fund, Wagner noted that he himself has serious dyslexia, a learning disability that affects reading, writing, spelling, and the organizing of information.

The fund will provide annually renewable scholarships for Nichols students who have been professionally diagnosed with the condition and will become available for the 2013-2014 academic year.

In recent years, breakthroughs in brain science and improvements in learning assessments have led to recognizing and responding to dyslexia earlier and in many more students than had previously been accounted for.

Dyslexia is estimated to affect as much as 10 percent of the population, and advances in teaching dyslexic students have made a growing number college ready.

According to the terms of the agreement with Nichols, Wagner expresses his interest “in helping young (adults) inflicted (with dyslexia) to earn a college education at Nichols,” as well as his motivation “to help Nichols students, a mirror of himself in 1957, assuming that they are otherwise qualified to attend Nichols.”

The Wagner scholarships will be determined by a special committee consisting of the Nichols director of financial aid, the dean of recruitment and retention, the assistant dean of learning services, and an academic dean.