The Anita Magistro Udell Scholarship for Language Majors is a new scholarship to help support students who are interested in studying abroad. This scholarship was created to help and encourage language majors with financial need and/or of minority descent to experience the opportunity of studying abroad during their time in college.
Anita Magistro Udell was born in Glen Ridge N.J. Her family is Sicilian and she grew up very informed about her culture, and was fluent in the language. She graduated from Montclair State Teacher College (now Montclair State University) in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in French and minor in Spanish.
During that time, the MSU foreign language department accepted only about 25-30 students a year to study abroad. Mrs. Udell studied in Quebec at Laval University for a year. Study abroad was a full year between junior and senior years, so in effect, the students graduated after five years.
The students never went to big cities such as Paris or Madrid. They would go to smaller towns (such as Grenoble, Aix, Seville, etc.) where there was no possibility of finding anyone who could speak English. They would study in the equivalent of a teacher's college there. During that year they had no vacation home or telephone calls allowed. According to Mrs. Udell , “Those girls (and guys) came back so impossibly fluent. It was intimidating; they would talk so fast to each other.” This is where the roots of her wanderlust first developed.
Mrs. Udell became a teacher and later completed her master’s degree and studied for her doctorate at Columbia Teachers' College, focusing on foreign language instruction for elementary school students. In 1964, she began teaching French and Spanish at Beaver College (now Arcadia University). She was an outstanding and beloved educator, and eventually served as Chair of the Foreign Language Department for 15 of her more than 25 years at Beaver.
Throughout her life Mrs. Udell was a woman of enormous perseverance and fortitude, with a keen intellect, an unquenchable thirst for learning and enrichment, and an unstoppable will. According to a former co-worker, as a teacher, "she took students out of any provincial approach to the world and gave them a wide-ranging appreciation of the world."
Mrs. Udell passed away this year (2015). The family, including Mrs. Udell's daughter Ruth Kunstadter, a lecturer in the Spanish and Italian Department (2007-2011), has established a scholarship fund in her name. The scholarship will assist Montclair State foreign language majors of minority descent and/or in financial need to study abroad. Study abroad was a pivotal opportunity in Mrs. Udell’s life, and in this way, she will continue to have an impact on many other lives.
The Anita Magistro Udell Scholarship will award $1,000 per year to support language majors to study abroad and immerse themselves in another culture. For more information on the Anita Magistro Udell Scholarship for Language Majors visit: Montclair State Study Abroad Scholarships
Contributions should be made payable to The Montclair State Foundation and in memo write Udell Scholarship c/o Ely F Santoni, Montclair State University, 1 Normal Avenue, DI Room 401, Montclair, NJ 07043
OR make an online contribution HERE - Scroll down to "Other" and write in "Anita Magistro Udell Scholarship".