Rotary Foundation Fellowships

 In 1947, 18 graduate students from 11 countries helped Rotary initiate the original Rotary Foundation Fellowship program.  The Foundation grants provided for round-trip transportation, all academic fees, room and board and stipends for necessary educational supplies, limited educational travel and contingencies. The graduate student was known as a Foundation Fellow and studied in a country other than their own in which there were Rotary Clubs for one academic year and they were required to foster international goodwill by acting as an ambassador between their home country and the foreign country.  This was accomplished in part by speaking to Rotary and other audiences both abroad and upon return home.
The Foundation’s program expanded to include special scholarships for students other than graduates, including undergraduates, technical students, teachers of the handicapped, journalism students, and short-term students from developing countries. Belleville Rotary has been involved in sponsoring Rotary Foundation Fellows.  The first was Jane Douglas of Belleville.  Jane graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours degree in Fine Arts in 1977 and wanted to continue her studies in art restoration.   She heard of The Rotary Foundation’s scholarship program through the awards office at the University of Toronto and decided to apply.  A year later she was taking the Master of Fine Arts program in art restoration at the Rosary College Graduate School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy.  She chose that particular school because the city has a long history of art restoration, especially after 1966, when floods damaged a large portion of the city. Jane, (who participated in the Rotary Science Fair and the Rotary Mayors of the Week program) continued her studies in Italy for four years, obtaining her degree, coming home each summer and working for the Canadian Conservation Institute.  In 1979 she told Belleville Rotary that The Rotary Foundation Scholarship has been a wonderful help in pursuing her education, as there are not many aids for students studying abroad in this field.   Upon graduation she was the driving force behind the $300,000 conservation laboratory project.
In 1981, Karen Hasselfelt became the second recipient from the Belleville area of a scholarship.  The Moira Secondary School and York University, Toronto, graduate studied art history at the E’cole Louvre in Paris for a year.  As with Jane, Karen has been able to pursue a career in her chosen field by working at an art gallery in Calgary.