BRONX, N.Y.— His Royal Highness (HRH) The Duke of Gloucester, royal patron of The St. George’s Society of New York, made a day-long visit to Lehman College on December 9, where he met with more than two dozen students who have received scholarships funded by the Society and presented Shireen Frederick, a Lehman alumna and native of Antigua, with a $10,000 scholarship from the Mountbatten Institute for postgraduate studies in London. He also lectured on the legacy and future of the British Commonwealth.
Founded in 1770, the St. George’s Society is one of the oldest charitable organizations in New York City. To date, the Society and its members have contributed more than $200,000 to the scholarship fund it established at Lehman in 2008 and awarded 59 scholarships to Lehman students in their final year of study.
“The support of The St. George’s Society is treasured by all of us at the College,” said Lehman President Ricardo R. Fernández. “Particularly in these difficult economic times, these scholarships are building a bridge to the future both for these men and women and for our city.”
“In spite of the persistent tough financial climate over the past year, we have successfully maintained our level of service and commitment to our beneficiaries,” said Victor Stewart, president of The St. George’s Society of New York. “Thanks to the sponsorship of the Mountbatten Institute, we now offer the additional possibility of a postgraduate year of study to one of the scholarship awardees who further qualifies.”
Frederick, a Bronx resident and past recipient of the St. George’s Society scholarship, graduated from Lehman last spring magna cum laude with a bachelor’s of business administration degree. She will travel to St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, London in March 2011 to pursue a certificate in international business. The scholarship is also connected to a paid, one-year internship in financial services in London.
“I’m the first person from Lehman to win this award,” said Frederick, a native of Antigua, “and it made me feel I did well enough that they thought I could represent my school. This is really a step in the right direction.” She hopes to pursue a career in management or finance and eventually own her own business.
Dr. Paul Beresford-Hill, the founder and Director General of the Mountbatten Institute, announced that the Institute would award a full scholarship each year to a Lehman graduate who also has received a St. George’s Society scholarship. “When combined with the student’s sponsoring company contribution to cover housing, monthly stipend and administrative costs,” he noted, “the full value of this scholarship is approaching $42,000.”
The Institute was founded in 1984 and continues the dedication of the late Lord Louis Mountbatten to the promotion of intercultural education and international awareness among young men and women. “We believe,” said Dr. Beresford-Hill, “that the economic future is best served when managers can draw on their personal and intercultural experience and awareness.”
In addition to his many roles and duties, HRH is Founding Chancellor of the University of Worcester. More than 150 St. George’s Scholars and their families, as well as Lehman students, faculty and staff, attended his lecture on “The Commonwealth as an expression of global community, not empire,” which was given in the Recital Hall of the College’s Music Building. The Commonwealth is a confederation of 54 independent nations. More than 1,000 Lehman students are linked to Commonwealth countries either by birth or heritage.
An architect and agriculturalist, HRH began his visit to Lehman by speaking with Dr. Eleanore Wurtzel of Lehman’s Biological Sciences Department, whose international team of scientists is working to develop maize that is rich in vitamin A—a finding that could greatly reduce malnutrition around the world. A cornfield on campus provides the material for their research. He then stopped in at the Lehman College Art Gallery, where Gallery Director Susan Hoeltzel showed him the Gallery’s current exhibits as well as its online guide to notable Bronx architecture.
Next on the schedule was a tour of Lehman’s new $16 million Multimedia Center, where he was interviewed by Multimedia Journalism major Elsa Bittar for a broadcast over CUNY TV. HRH was accompanied by Dominic Meiklejohn, deputy consul general of the British Consulate-General Office in New York City, and welcomed by President Fernández, who pointed out historic aspects of the Lehman campus, including the building where the UN Security Council met in 1946.
Among those attending a luncheon on campus given in honor of his visit were Dr. Mary A. Papazian, Lehman’s provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, who introduced HRH at his lecture and officiated at the presentation ceremony; Natalie Pray, past president of the St. George’s Society; and John Shannon, the Society’s executive director.
Contact: Keisha-Gaye Anderson / 718-960-8013