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KNOXVILLE — A generous gift from the estate of a former University of Tennessee professor and department head will soon benefit university German Studies students.

The late Reinhold Nordsieck and his wife, Katherine, established an endowment benefiting students studying German language, literature, civilization and philology. The gift will be used for financial assistance to UT students in the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures (MFLL) department or studying abroad.

As a professor, Nordsieck was dedicated to expanding students’ imaginations and further believed in the importance of study abroad to a foreign language study, said Dr. Jeff Mellor, German studies MFLL interim department head.

“Study abroad is essential to an education in a foreign language, but its expense can be prohibitive to students. I believe this gift will address that situation,” said Mellor.

Nordsieck taught German studies and was department head of the program from 1949 to 1978. He helped expand the department from two people to a full department with graduate and undergraduate degrees in German and Russian.

“My father was a teacher at heart. He believed in the intrinsic value of learning and knowledge,” said Margaret Nordsieck Webster, the couple’s daughter. “He was passionate about the value of study abroad for both undergraduate and graduate students and this gift to the German department is my parents’ way of ensuring that learning and knowledge, particularly as applied to the study of the German language, literature, civilization and philology, will continue to thrive and flourish at UT.”

The scholarship will be available to students in the fall of 2008 and recipients will be chosen by a committee in the MFLL department.

For more information, contact the MFLL department at 974-2312.

Jeff Mellor, 974-2312 or mellor@utk.edu