Established on 10.29.2009 by Sylvia L Lell

The Dr. Gordon Lell Scholarship resulted from a spontaneous outpouring of gratitude by former students and colleagues for an honored and beloved teacher. In particular, the scholarship honors Dr. Lell’s expertise in Shakespeare and his ability to engender enthusiasm for Shakespeare and learning in students. Indeed, during his 37 years of teaching at Concordia, Dr. Lell’s Shakespeare course drew in a diverse group of literally thousands of students to learn about and experience this author considered unapproachable by many. The hallmark of the course was its focus on performance: “The play’s the thing,” Dr. Lell would explain, and, with his own vast knowledge of Shakespeare productions, help students study the text as a path to understanding the productions.

Over the years, Dr. Lell took well over 6000 students to regional Shakespeare productions and on study tours abroad. Many of Dr. Lell’s former students continue to attend productions, as instanced by the popular “Gordy at the Guthrie” lectures in Minneapolis. Singular in his knowledge of Shakespeare, including having many of Shakespeare's sonnets in memory, Dr. Lell was himself a Renaissance person, with an early background in mathematics, an undergraduate degree in piano performance and a 30-year military career. Given all his devoted study, he had a smile and time for all. Students recall his concern for them as individuals; faculty found him a friend and new faculty a willing mentor. And, whoever you were, ask a question about Shakespeare, and you might be there for quite some time.

The V. Gordon Lell Endowed Scholarship is awarded by the Office of Financial Aid. Selection is based on nomination for Omicron Delta Kappa. OΔK, as it is commonly referred to, recognizes those students who have attained academic success as well as high standards of efficiency in collegiate activities and inspire other to strive for conspicuous attainments along similar lines.