Reunion with former students in Belfast is 'wonderful experience'

Friday, July 21, 2006
Scotty Campbell sits with previous students of his from Northern Ireland during a reunion in Belfast. The students are, from left to right, top to bottom, Conor Hughes, K. Lee McQuade, Ronan McCann, Elaine McCullagh, Anna Andrews and Emma Nugent.

Scotty Campbell of Marshall recently attended a reunion for some of the Northern Ireland students that he has sponsored while attending college at Missouri Valley College.

The program, called Business Education Initiative, which was started in 1992-93, is sponsored by the British government. The program identifies students from Northern Ireland who plan to study business.

The program is involved mostly with the Presbyterian Church, but also include other denominations, such as those of Roman Catholic faith.

"The students have to go through a lot of hurdles," Campbell said. "It's a real honor to be selected to be involved in this program."

After studying in America for one year, the Irish students go back to Ireland to complete their degree.

BEI's goal is to provide for American businesses that are relocating in Ireland.

Campbell and his wife, Sally, wanted to visit students of previous years. Campbell stayed with the family of his current student, David Hennessy. Hennessy's parents, Pat and Tony, wouldn't have had them stay anywhere else. Campbell said that the Hennessy's were kind enough to take them on a guided tour of Belfast.

"We tend to adopt these kids when they come to us," Campbell said. "We don't try to hover over them."

Campbell said that he thinks that the students should be treated as regular students. Campbell said that he thought that the students should try to get involved with as many activities as possible.

"It must have been a lot of work to get all the families of the students together for the reunion," Campbell said. "It was a wonderful experience."

Campbell said that the reunion was a nice ambassadorship between Marshall and Belfast. The get-together was held on May 30 of this year.

"It was a wonderful evening of Irish music, dancing and food," Campbell said.

Campbell is awaiting the arrival of his new student in August named Elaine McCullagh. She has already met with several Missouri Valley College students and Campbell said that she is excited about spending the year in Marshall.

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