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Memorial to Ireland

Applications open for Craig Dobbin Legacy Program

Teaching and Learning

By Michelle Osmond

Open doors for Memorial University scholars.

It’s the enduring outcome of a friendship a Newfoundlander and an Irishman struck up more than three decades ago.

A group pf people stand together in a board room.
From left are Dr. Jennifer Lokash, Mark Dobbin, James Kelly, Dr. Nat Hurley, Penny Blackwood and Chris Hibbs.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

The late entrepreneur Dr. Craig Dobbin (LLD,’00) met the University College Dublin’s Prof. John Kelly in the 1990s.

The lifelong connection led to Dr. Dobbin making a generous donation to foster Ireland-Canada academic relations. That donation resulted in the University College Dublin’s chair of Canadian studies and the Ireland Canada University Foundation.

Now, Prof. Kelly’s son, James, and Dr. Dobbin’s son, Mark, are continuing the connection by helping launch a special scholarship program.

Mr. Kelly and Mr. Dobbin visited the St. John’s campus recently to invite Memorial University scholars to apply for the Craig Dobbin Legacy Scholarships, part of the Craig Dobbin Legacy Program, and to commemorate Dr. Dobbin’s 1995 philanthropic donation.

“This is a very unique opportunity for our scholars.” — Dr. Jennifer Lokash

The program is an Ireland Canada University Foundation, University College Dublin’s Centre for Canadian Studies and University College Dublin’s College of Arts and Humanities initiative.

It honours Dr. Dobbin’s original vision: that his donation builds connections between Canada and Ireland.

Focus on Memorial

Of the 15 funded research scholarships in Canada, a minimum of three scholarships are allocated to Memorial, highlighting the university’s, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s, special place in the program.

Dr. Jennifer Lokash, Memorial’s provost and vice-president (academic), says allocating three scholarships to Memorial will go a long way to further connecting academia in the province and Ireland.

“This is a very unique opportunity for our scholars,” Dr. Lokash said. “The program certainly reinforces our province’s unique relationship with Ireland. I look forward to seeing the collaboration that comes from these scholarships.”

Three people having a conversation on a boardroom with the middle person facing the camera
James Kelly speaks to members of Memorial’s leadership team about the Craig Dobbin Legacy Scholarships.
Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

Prof. Kelly, who is the CEO of the Ireland Canada University Foundation, spoke on behalf of University College Dublin and Ireland Canada University Foundation, and the hundreds of scholars and students who have benefited from the initiatives, to express his deep gratitude to Craig Dobbin, as well as Mark Dobbin and his family, for their generosity.

“The relationship between Canada and Ireland is strong, far-reaching and deeply rooted in history,” Prof. Kelly said. “Within this relationship, the connection between Newfoundland and Ireland is unique and profoundly significant, both for the people of Ireland and of Newfoundland.

“The program we are launching celebrates this vision, and places the Newfoundland-Ireland connection at its heart,” he continued. “I would like to encourage researchers at Memorial University to consider applying for this program, and we look forward to once again welcoming those awarded Craig Dobbin Legacy Scholarships to Ireland over the coming months.”

Two-part program

In total, 30 scholarships will be awarded, with 15 awarded to Canadian applicants looking to conduct research at University College Dublin and 15 awarded to University College Dublin researchers looking to conduct research in Canada.

The scholarships are for research connected to the arts and humanities, and cross-disciplinary proposals that intersect with arts and humanities.

In addition to scholarships, the Craig Dobbin Lecture Series will bring speakers to Canada and Ireland with an Irish speaker giving a public lecture at both Memorial University and the University of Toronto, and a Canadian speaker speaking at University College Dublin.

For more information about the scholarship and how to apply, visit the Craig Dobbin Legacy Program webpage.

The deadline for scholarship applications is May 29, 2024.

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