It was a day he'll never forget. Chaminade senior Frank Mattimoe was surprised in his Chinese IV class Monday with an acceptance letter to New York University Shanghai – a four-year program during which Frank will study in China and deepen his understanding of the language and culture.
A College Acceptance Surprise
"I'm just so happy," Frank said. "The opportunity to study in China, immerse myself in the culture, and gain new experiences is thrilling. Plus, I'll get to push myself to be better."
Frank thought this would be an ordinary class. Mr. Greg Walsh, his Chinese teacher, introduced representatives from NYU Shanghai for a presentation on the program. Then, they asked Frank to come to the front of the room and speak about his understanding of Chinese culture and language. He completed a six-week scholarship in Shanghai sponsored by the U.S. Department of State last summer.
That's when Frank was presented with a letter stating his acceptance to the NYU program. The entire class stood with applause and good wishes, and Frank's mother, Lisa, entered the classroom from the hallway to join the celebration.
"I think I screamed when I got the call," she exclaimed.
Frank will live in China for the four-year program; he has the option to study abroad during at least one semester. Frank developed a keen interest in Chinese at Chaminade and is the president of the school's Chinese Club.
"Going to markets, eating the food, and meeting the people in Shanghai really opened my mind during my time there," Frank said. "Now, I'll actually be a part of the fabric of the city."
Mr. Walsh has taught Frank since his sophomore year at Chaminade.
"He's a real leader in our class," Mr. Walsh said. "The enthusiasm his classmates showed was genuine – they look up to him. He's contributed so much to our students learning Chinese culture. I'm looking forward to having him Skype into class next year to tell our students what it's like!"
Frank will graduate with a degree conferred by NYU and certified by China's Ministry of Education. He's considering studies in business or Global China studies.
NYU cameras were rolling as Frank learned the news. We'll share their video with you once it is complete.