Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Georgia Class of 1953 Lectureship to feature Malcolm Mitchell
Darlington School: Private Boarding School in Rome, GA
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Class of 1953 Lectureship to feature Malcolm Mitchell

March 20, 2024 | 810 views

Malcolm Mitchell, a Super Bowl champion, highly decorated Georgia Bulldog, award-winning children's author, and founder of the Share the Magic Foundation, will be the 20th speaker in the annual Class of 1953 Lectureship Series on Thursday, April 4. He will host a READing Rally for students in Pre-K to 5 and an interactive READer to Leader presentation for grades 8-12.

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students to connect with someone who has had an incredible athletic career and lived a life of service,” said Vicki Vincent, director of alumni relations. “We appreciate Malcolm for taking the time to share his insights with our young people here at Darlington and are grateful to the Class of 1953 for establishing this annual lectureship that has brought so many interesting people to our campus." 

A native of Valdosta, Ga., the Top-10 all-time receiver also earned numerous honors outside the realm of athletics during his time at UGA. He was recognized as the National Captain of the Allstate Good Works Team for his frequent visits to elementary schools to read to students and talk about literacy, the first student ever at UGA to win this honor. As a student, he also received the National Haier Achievement Award for his success beyond athletics, the Atlanta Sports Council Community Service Award, the Georgia Chapter of the National College Football Hall of Fame Jack Turner Award, and the UGA Student Athlete of the Year Award.

During his freshman year in college, Mitchell developed a love of reading. Initially, reading was a challenge; however, through perseverance, books became an avenue for expanding his curiosity, creativity and learning. In 2015, he authored and published a children’s book, “The Magician’s Hat,” and created a youth literacy initiative called Read with Malcolm. The following year, he established Share the Magic Foundation, a 501(c)(3) with a sole purpose: to transform children’s lives through literacy. The foundation’s mission is to inspire young people to read by bringing book ownership to students in Title I schools and under-resourced communities. Since its founding, it has placed books in the hands of more than 65,000 young readers and provided Read with Malcolm literacy programming to over 300,000 students.

In 2016, Mitchell was named Children’s Author of the Year by the Georgia Writers Association and the following year, he signed a three-book contract with Scholastic Publishing Co. He was later named Children's Author of the Year for a second time for his second book, "My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World."

Mitchell’s inspirational story has been featured nationally on "CBS Evening News," "CBS Sunday Morning," "CBS Sports," ESPN, "USA Today," CNN, MSNBC, and the NFL Network, and has been used by many schools as encouragement for students to embrace the importance of reading. He has also been featured in numerous magazines and newspaper articles, including USA Today and Sports Illustrated Kids (celebrating National Reading Month). In 2015, a documentary about Mitchell won the College Sports Media Outstanding Special feature.

In May 2016, the wide receiver was drafted by the New England Patriots and the following year, he became a Super Bowl champion. His numerous awards and honors include an A Commodation from the State of Georgia, a Key to City of Valdosta, the Promise Hero Award from America's Promise Alliance for his contributions to youth in America, the Pinnacle Award from The International Dyslexia Association, the Youth Literacy Award from Read to a Child, the University of Georgia’s “40 under 40," Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 under 40” for the Southeast, the Champion of Children Award from Foundations Inc., the President's Award from the SCLC, and a Certificate of Recognition from the Governor of the State of Rhode Island for his commitment to underserved children.

Among Mitchell’s numerous awards and accomplishments both on and off the field, he considers discovering a love of reading one of his greatest achievements. 

The Class of 1953 Lectureship Series was established in 2003 to commemorate the class’s 50th reunion.