One hundred and fifteen students are this year’s recipients of scholarships valued at $4.3 million from the Kingston College Old Boys USA Inc., $2.8M, Atlanta, $1.3M and our emerging New England, in this its inaugural year, provides three scholarships.
Youngsters from grades 7-13 attended a scholarship ceremony on Wednesday, November 18, held at the St. Augustine Chapel, North Street. Rainford “Perry” Bloomfield, President of KCOBA USA Inc. (New York) oversaw the ceremonies and made the presentations.
Atlanta’s President, Dr. Glen Laman was not able to attend. However, their George Thompson Memorial Scholarship, established in 2009, has grown to now benefit 50 recipients at the College. Another Atlanta fund, the Marcus McDonald Memorial award provides for one scholarship. A motivational talk was given by medical student Jovae Taylor, also a past beneficiary of the programme. Congratulations and greetings were brought by Dr. Leroy Stephenson, son of late old boy, Ronald N. Stephenson whose family sponsors memorial scholarships in his name and is New York’s largest supporter for scholarships.
Scholarships cover tuition primarily, and in some instances extend to books, lunch money and other expenses. Each recipient is selected after a rigorous process of assessment, initially by the venerable Mrs. Shelia HoSang, when New York began its scholarship programme in 1982 and now by the able Guidance Counsellor, Mrs. Sonia Watson and Vice Principal, Marguerita Douglas-Hall.
The decision is based on financial need, proven academic achievement, high measure of character, strong leadership potential, recommendations, and in the case of Atlanta, extra-curricular activities. Additionally, both Atlanta and New York sponsor old boys studying at tertiary institutions in countries Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba, France and the United States. Fields of study have ranged from architecture, engineering, information technology, law, liberal arts, linguistics, medicine and physical education.
Funds for the scholarship derive from a small but dedicated group of old boys, their families and friends, memorial funds and scholarship dances. In regards to New York, their longest running scholarship is Wilson-Saunders, established in 1990, sponsored by Dr. Hugh Wilson, in honour of his mother and aunt. Wilson, a retired Political Science professor at Adelphi University, New York, represented Kingston College in football in 1957 when the purples won both Manning Cup and Oliver Shield. New York’s scholarships for 2015-2016 include: Rt. Rev E. Don Taylor Memorial Scholarship; Andrew Grant Scholarship; Ms. Joyce Baxter Memorial Scholarship; Beverley Nerita Levy Memorial; Clinton Clarke Memorial Scholarship; Kitson Blissett Scholarship; Donovan A. Shaw Memorial Scholarship; Humphrey Willis Scholarship; Wade Hendricks Scholarship; Duane O’Gilvie Scholarship; Keith Bryan Scholarship; Daniel and Jean Davidson Scholarship; Lilly Johnson Memorial; Mike Wong Scholarship, Robert Taylor Scholarship; Joy Lounds Scholarship; Jermoth and Eulalee Dixon Scholarship; KCOBA New England Scholarship; Burne Bryan Scholarship; 1992 Manning Cup Scholarship; Nancy Hill Memorial Scholarship; Yvonne McTaggart Memorial Scholarship and 11 Forrest Class of ’86 Scholarship.
Atlanta’s scholarship, honours the memory of a Kingston College legend, George Thompson. George T was a man of great humility and generosity whose contribution to K.C. and Jamaica has gone largely unheralded. He was a member of K.C.’s first ever winning Manning Cup team in 1949, subsequently again 1950-52. He captained the Jamaica national team between 1958 and 1962. He coached Kingston College to three triple championships, Manning Cup, Walker Cup and Oliver Shield, 1964, 1965 and 1975, and our double champion 1986 team. He coached and had enormous success with Arnett Gardens, Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica National team. He was a part of the founding group that created the widely successful Gibson Relays. Since Director Whylie Chamber’s initial push for Atlanta to create the GT Scholarship, the fund has benefitted significantly from support within the K.C. Family and most recently matching funds initiatives of $300,000 each from old boys Noel Spencer and Rudolph Reid.
Several recipients continue to receive scholarships after departing K.C., to study at tertiary institutions in Jamaica, Barbados, Cuba, France or the United States. Fields of study have ranged from architecture, engineering, information technology, law, linguistics, medicine and physical education.
The scholarship program first started by the KCOBA USA Inc. (New York) in 1982 has to date benefitted over a 1,000 students and with Atlanta has contributed in excess of $100 million, inclusive of annual prize giving support. The K.C. Family, friends and supporters are encouraged to support the programme or create their own scholarship and aid Jamaica in living out the dream of The Rt. Rev. Percival W. Gibson, “preparing inner city black boys for service to Jamaica and the world.”