The Club were active supporters of Rotary's Ambassadorial Scholarships, the Foundation's oldest and best-known programme.
This programme however closed end June 2013 to be replaced by the current Scholarships.
Founded in 1947, it was an international programme aimed at encouraging those who had just graduated to undertake an additional year of study abroad to further international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and geographical areas. Nearly 38,000 men and women from about 100 nations have studied abroad under its auspices and as such it attracted many students to Ireland. It was the world's largest privately funded international scholarship's programme.
The Club has sent and hosted many students on this Programme. During their time spent with us the Club welcomed the Scholar to our weekly meetings and events and they were active participants with Rotaract. They also spoke to other Rotary Clubs.
We would like to thank PP Bryan Johnston who was the Club's Host Counsellor to the Scholars who assisted them with the day-to-day issues of adjusting to a new culture and society and also accompanied them on their round of talks to Rotary Clubs and the US Consul in Belfast.
Details on the most recent Scholars to the Club are given below:
The Club were delighted to welcome Ambassadorial Scholar, Delia Ferguson from The Bahamas to the Club meeting Monday 03 December 2012. Having been introduced by PP Bryan Johnson she thanked the Club and exchanged banners with President Alan.
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nassau, she was studying Engineering Construction Methods and Policy at Queens University, Belfast.
We were delighted to welcome 2011-12 Ambassadorial Scholar Woody Hanson, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Minneapolis University.
At his introduction to the Club, Monday 7 November 2011, he exchanged Banners with President Adrian and spoke to the Club about himself.
Studying for an MSc in Urban and Rural Design at Queens he attended the University of Minneapolis-Twin Cities (BSc Architecture) and from September 10 - June 11 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Cyprus Institute exploring aspects of architectural heritage within the 'Walled City' of Nicosia in the context of its present-day divided realities and future re-unification. He proposed design interventions and a management plan for the moat surrounding the historic city walls based on historical research and an urban analysis of the area.
Woody bade farewell on his last visit to the Club on 14 May 2012 before returning to the USA. He thanked the Club and the members for their assistance and encouragement and expressed how much he had enjoyed (if not the grey skies!) his great time here studying for his MSc at Queens. He noted that he had had the opportunity recently to join with the TABU Programme for the day in Chicago when they met the Lord Mayor and had been greatly impressed with the Programme and the energetic young people. He hoped to keep in touch with TABU in future years and would be speaking at the Highland Park/Highwood Club in July. He particularly thanked PP Bryan Johnston for his support (and forbearance in having to listen to the same speech 11 times!) reflecting that he ws a most wonderful young person's mentor.
President Adrian complemented Woody on his exceptional year and his active involvement with the Club and wished him every success in the future.
During his time here Woody has travelled widely and made many presentations. In particular, (from left) he spoke with the other Ambassadorial Scholars September 2010 to the District Conference in Limerick, September 2011, to the District Council Meeting held in Belfast Saturday 28 January 2012 about the Ambassadorial Scholars visiting Ireland this year and he was received by Acting Consul General Kevin Rowland at the Consulate at the end of February 2012.
We had the pleasure of hosting Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Thomas Eisenhart sponsored by the Rotary Club Downtown Statesbro, USA, while he studied Chemistry & Clean Management at Queens University Belfast 2010/11.
On his arrival in September 2010, when exchanging banners, Thomas spoke to the Club and presented President Brian with his local State preserves:
"As part of the Honor's Program at Georgia Southern University, I was pushed to seek out and identify postgraduate scholarships, both domestically and abroad. It was through this process that one of my advisors and former Rotary Scholar, Bob Frigo, suggested I look into the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. The Rotary motto of "Service above Self" was something that immediately jumped out at me upon investigation of the scholarship. I have always wanted my academic aspirations to coincide with making the world a better place, and the Ambassadorial Scholarship seemed like a perfect platform to begin realizing this dream.
I didn't take the application process lightly, as I wanted Rotary International to understand how my chosen subject area and career path can promote Rotary ideals. I strongly believe that chemistry is the means by which more sustainable energy practices will be developed. I also believe the development of sustainable energy processes will result in a more peaceful world, as fossil fuels would become a less precious resource. To be a part of this solution, it is imperative that I study at universities that also agree with this logic, and are dedicated to giving students the tools they need to solve complex problems, like developing methods of sustainable energy. Therefore, on my application I identified five European universities that would provide a fantastic learning environment with courses fitting my academic interests. After a little further research, Queen's University Belfast became my top choice.
Queen's is unique in that it offers a one-year program that combines the chemistry and management aspects of sustainable development, resulting in an MSc in Clean Chemical Technology and Management. Besides looking at the chemical processes involved in current energy practices, I also study sustainable development and its importance in the coming century. This program is perfect because it fits my interests in chemistry and the environment while also giving me a social science's perspective on issues in sustainability. It also is a one-year course in an English-speaking country, making it possible for me to easily fulfil my Rotary duties. In other words, it was a perfect fit to both my interests and the requirements of Rotary International."
During his year Thomas was an enthusiastic President of the Belfast Rotaract Club, encouraging the members and initiating many events. It is, therefore, fitting that the Belfast Rotaract Club were awarded the 2010/11 John A Savage Award for their service to the Community. The Award was presented by President Brian to Thomas and Rotaract Club founder member Laura Garland 21 February 2011 details here...
We bade him farewell at the Club Meeting, Monday 30 June. Thomas was, in the tradition of Ambassadorial Scholars hosted by the Belfast Club, a tremendous asset both to the Club and to Rotaract as their President. President Brian, handing over the Club's farewell gift congratulated him on his outstanding year spent with us. In response Thomas thanked the Club and stated that it had been a life-changing experience and that he hoped to come back and visit soon. Picture shows him with his fiance Haley, President Brian (left) and Past President Bryan Johnston who subsequently attended his wedding in 2013 in the States.
2009/10 we had the pleasure of hosting Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar Borjan Zic. Borjan was studying at Queen's University Belfast for a Masters Degree in Comparative Ethnic Conflict.
He proved an outstanding representative of his sponsoring Club, The Rotary Club of Montgomery Village, Washington DC.
Borjan Zic has, in the tradition of Ambassadorial Scholars hosted by the Belfast Club, been a tremendous asset both to the Club and to Rotaract. He addressed the Club and was a regular attendee at our meetings. He supported the Rotary Club activities, was an active member of the Rotaract Club being active in their fund-raising and involved in organising an abseil down the Europa Hotel and during his year acted as President of the Rotaract Club.
Borjan was also a the instigator in the painting of the peace mural on a wall in Glengall Street. Full details here
PP Bryan Johnston, Ambassadorial Scholar's Counsellor, and his wife Helen were delighted to attend Boran's wedding to Leah Goldfine on 2nd April 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.