The Public Entity Saba and Lipscomb University from Nashville, Tennessee have extended their collaboration with the signing of a four-year scholarship agreement. This agreement succeeds the first one of May 2017.
The scholarship agreement, signed by Saba Commissioner of Education Bruce Zagers and Lipscomb University Vice President for Enrollment Management Byron Lewis earlier this month, supports Saban students who are approved for their study grant at the Dutch Education Execution Department DUO and who enroll at Lipscomb University.
The scholarship agreement is valid for four successive academic years, from 2021 up to an including 2025. Under the agreement, Lipscomb University will match the study grant that Saban students receive from DUO. Saban students who enroll at the university receive a one-time gift from the Public Entity Saba in the form of a laptop.
The university provides assistance to the Saban students, including securing adequate living facilities during their period of study and transportation to and from the airport at the beginning and conclusion of each semester.
Saba and Lipscomb University have a long-standing relationship that goes back to the friendship with the Thomas family from Tennessee. Students of the university have been visiting Saba at least twice a year for more than 10 years. The annual summer camp with plenty of activities, organized by the Lipscomb University, is very popular among Saban children.
Lauren Risley (25) is a former Lipscomb University student who came to Saba since 2014 when she was a freshman in college studying exercise science and now works on the island as project leader public health and sports at the Public Health Department. She knows from first-hand experience how deeply the friendship between Saba and Lipscomb is rooted having come to the island more than 10 times as a student, all the way up to her master’s.
“The children are always asking me when the Lipscomb students are coming. Many friendships have been sealed through the visits of the Lipscomb students. The Lipscomb students keep returning, year after year, and that consistency is important. The children look forward to their visit every time.”
While on Saba, the university students do special activities with the children like hiking, a basketball night, dodgeball games, an ice cream social gathering, and on the last night there is a grand finale with a show on stage and a potluck dinner.
Asked about the importance of this deep-rooted relationship, Risley said: “Lots of children on Saba grew up with the Lipscomb students. So, when these children go to study in the United States, it is nice that they can go to a familiar place where they feel comfortable.”
Lipscomb University is a private Christian liberal arts institution that had a total enrollment of close to 4,900 students in fall 2020. Several Saban students go to Nashville every year to enroll in this university which has more than 175 undergraduate majors and minors and offers a 60 master’s degree program.