The GRSP Purpose
(From The Student Handbook) "In 1946, for the first time in many years, the world began to see the light of peace. At the same time it also saw widespread desolation, ruin and despair in many war torn countries. In this light, Georgia Rotarian William "Will" A. Watt of Thomasville saw the need for a practical application of the Rotary ideal of International Service. Such an approach had to look at the future of world peace while at the same time providing courage to those living in despair of the present."
"Through the medium of scholarships we offer our friendship to young men and women of other lands in the interest of understanding instead of merely being understood. These young people are considered "ambassadors" of their countries."
"Over 70 scholarships are awarded each year to students academically qualified to enter a college or university for undergraduate or graduate work. ..... Your GRSP scholarship is both a cultural and scholastic scholarship. GRSP's mission is to provide you with experiences that contribute to Rotary's ideal of World Peace Through Understanding."
The GRSP History
In 1946, William A. Watt of Thomasville, saw the need for a practical application of the Rotary ideal of international service. It was logical that this application of international service should be centered around the youth of the world, in whose hands would rest the future of world peace.
So was born Will Watt's idea. As a past District Governor of Rotary, he advanced this idea to the Rotarians of former District 165 which at that time included the entire State of Georgia. The sum of $ 4,000.00 was provided, $ 1.00 per Rotarian, and three young men and one young women, in 1946-47 from European countries became the first Rotary sponsored students to attend schools in Georgia.
Through the years the interest of Georgia Rotarians in this program grew in intensity permitting a steady increase in the number of scholarships granted. In the years since the inception of the program, more than 2000 young men and women, from about 80 countries, have been brought to the campuses of Georgia by its Rotarians.
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