The Scholarship was established on 5th November 1946 by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Francis Carney, after discussions with Dwight D Eisenhower on 20th October 1945. The objective was to recognise the great services rendered to the Nation by the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt as President of the United States of America during the Second World War and to perpetuate a local ‘living’ tribute to his memory by founding the Scholarship.
The Scholarship has sent over 150 scholars to the US from many differing backgrounds, sectors and industries. Today the Alumni is spread over 3 continents, many having distinguished careers and some being awarded the CBE or OBE.
The Roosevelt family maintained their local links, Eleanor Roosevelt visited the city in 1957 and spoke at the Nottingham City Business Club. Scholars met with the Roosevelt family during their trip with contacts often being arranged for visits during their travels. Latterly Haven Roosevelt (grandson of FDR) hosted scholars at his house in Martha’s Vineyard and visited Nottingham in 2009.
The aim of the scholarship is to promote greater understanding and improved relationships between the people of Nottinghamshire and the United States. The original Trust Deed signed in 1946 by the great and the good of Nottingham states the purpose as ‘obtaining further education within their chosen field of expertise and in particular to study and benefit from the history and way of life of the American people and to promote the eternal friendships of the two nations’.
The scholarship provides an opportunity for young people to gain a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel throughout the USA while undertaking a project which will benefit their employer, Nottinghamshire and themselves, professionally and on a personal level. Scholars undertake projects in which they have a particular interest or skill set which they feel will be enhanced by visiting the US. The Scholarship selects scholars or projects which it believes will be likely to bring benefit to Nottinghamshire over the longer term.
The Trustees have recently re-vitalised the scholarship to make it more relevant in today’s society. Current issues around Brexit and the politics of the US mean having personal contacts in the US is more important than ever to Nottinghamshire businesses. The scholarship is open to anyone living or working in the county of Nottinghamshire, who is aged between 20 and 35 on the 1st September of the year they travel, and who is in employment in the private, public or third sector. Applications open in January and close on the first Friday in March. Interviews take place in March with final selection in April. The visit is funded for six weeks although scholars often raise funding to extend this period. The scholarship aims to support projects that address key elements of the Nottinghamshire economy.
Mentors are identified for each scholar to help them make the most from their experience. The scholarship is often life changing, empowering, increasing confidence, developing self reliance and enabling greater understanding of the US. Scholars return better equipped to manage change and contribute to society. The Roosevelt name enables the scholars to open doors that would otherwise be closed and used wisely this can lead to access to some of the leading exponents in particular fields. It is a key priority that the employer works closely with the scholar to ensure the project is of direct benefit to the company as well as to Nottinghamshire.
Returning scholars make an impact on their employer and area in a number of ways.
Laura Hailes, a 2012 scholar said “I looked into how America organised their nursing leadership and how they empower their staff.” “Since my return, I’ve set up the UK Forum of Shared Governance and commenced roll-out of Nottingham’s own shared governance programme, which empowers staff and has a positive impact on patient outcome. ”Without my experience in America, I would not have been able to achieve the things I have at Queen’s Medical Centre.”
Gareth Bartsch, also a 2012 scholar stated “I wanted to understand the American attitude towards the hospitality industry with a view of implementing a training programme for the family hotel business. The experience I gained during my trip has enabled me to make a real impact not just on our business but on the careers of our employees and helped us attract some of the best talent available in a tough industry”.
Karl Bartsch, Gareth’s father and employer is a strong supporter following Gareth’s 2012 trip. “We knew it would be difficult losing a member of our senior management for three months but the benefits that the training programmes and links to the US hospitality schools that Gareth has established has allowed our business to grow and attract, nurture and develop the careers some of the brightest talents within the hospitality industry that Nottingham has to offer”
Sheridan Chilvers 2011 scholar was appointed as Entrepreneur-In-Residence at New College Nottingham, the first position of its type. He used his experience from the USA to develop innovative initiatives including:
the first NCN start-up programme enabling 25 students to develop their businesses via mentorship support, grant funding and business workshops
bidding for and hosting the NACUE Student Enterprise Conference, the first collaboration between a University and College.
Delivering networking events involving 200 students and local business professionals.
The scholarship is now actively looking to build partnerships with like minded organisations. Partnerships are developing with Roosevelt University, the English Speaking Union, Servas, Bromley House and local Rotary. Nottingham City Business Club continues its long relationship with the scholarship.
The Scholarship was originally funded by a covenant from the original Trustees. Sponsorship has been previously awarded from leading Nottingham companies including Boots and Experian as well as alumni. Funding had also been received for many years from Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council (both with positions on the Board), but due to lack of resources this has recently ended.
The scholarship is now looking at new ways of securing support, Trustees are considering how new sponsors and funding can be attracted to enable a continuation of its work.
For more information visit our website www.rooseveltscholarship.org . Trustees are now discussing sponsorship opportunities with local businesses, organisations and individuals. Please do not hesitate to contact either:
Russ Blenkinsop Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org 077670797335
Mick Burrows Charman email@example.com 07940 111541