Wiswell Scholarship

Wiswell Scholarship and Endowment for the Study of Russian Language, Literature and Area Studies

Ella Lury Wiswell died on 16 August 2005 in Honolulu at the age of 96 after many years of service to the United States and the University of Hawaii. Her life was an extraordinary one. Born in the town of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur in 1909 she lived in Japan, France, Vietnam, Canada and the United States. She was fluent in Japanese, French, English and, of course, her native tongue Russian.

The gift of Ella Lury and Frederick J. Wiswell established a Scholarship and Endowment Fund to encourage and promote the study of Russian language, literature and Russian area studies at the University of Hawaii. Interest from the endowment can be used to provide awards to UH students who are majoring in Russian language or literature, who are obtaining the UH Russian Area Studies Certificate or who are studying Russian at the intermediate and advanced levels. Depending on the interest income from the endowment and the number and quality of eligible applicants scholarships, grants and waivers can range from $500 – $2000 (or more if circumstances warrant it and funds are available). Multiple awards are possible.

Monies from the endowment interest can be applied to:

  • Tuition waivers from UH for a semester and/or year
  • Scholarships to pay for books and educational expenses
  • Travel grants to study Russian, preferably at Vladivostok State University of Economics and Service with which UH has an agreement, or any other university of choice in Russia
  • Work-study assistance – using Russian to assist the Russian language professors, and/or complete special projects


Juniors and Seniors enrolled in Russian language or Russian LLEA courses and Juniors and Seniors majoring in the Russian language program at the University of Hawaii and/or acquiring the Russian Area Studies certificate. Students who show academic merit as demonstrated by a GPA of 3.0 or higher and some degree of financial need are given priority.

The application period on Star app site for the following academic year is typically mid-November to mid-February.

Students applying for a scholarship from Wiswell Scholarship Fund should contact Russian bibliographer Patricia Polansky  at polansky@hawaii.edu or Professor Anastasia Kostetskaya (LLEA) at kostetsk@hawaii.edu.

Apply for Wiswell Scholarship on the Star application site.