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Owens family aids those aspiring to global service

Fletcher School graduates who set out to repair developing country debt all too often are burdened by heavy debts of their own.

A gift of more than a million dollars toward financial aid will help. B. Craig Owens, GMAP '01, and his wife, Libby, made the $1.1 million gift to create the Owens Scholarship Fund(s), to benefit students in the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy or residential Master of Arts programs planning careers in the public sector.

Mr. Owens, Senior VP, CFO, CAO, Campbell Soup Company and former executive vice president and chief financial officer of Delhaize Group, Brussels, is a graduate of Fletcher's Global Master of Arts Program (GMAP) and member of the Fletcher School's International Management Advisory Group.

At present, Fletcher students graduate from the two-year master's program with an average debt burden of about $50,000, not including any debt from their undergraduate or other graduate studies. With annual tuition and living expenses totaling roughly $45,000, the Fletcher School sees increasing the financial aid available to its students as the greatest strategic priority of its current $100 million campaign.

A major increase in funding for financial aid is regarded as essential if Fletcher is to fulfill its mission of international service while attracting students of the highest potential, including those from developing countries and from underrepresented minorities in the United States.

One million dollars from the Owenses' gift was placed in a flexible deferred annuity that, when matured, will be used to create an endowed scholarship fund. The additional $100,000 was put toward term scholarships awarded in 2007-08 and 2008-09, after which the benefactors will consider renewing the commitment.

Mr. and Mrs. Owens said: "Enabling access to a Fletcher education for bright young professionals dedicated to a public career is one of the best ways we see to put resources to work in service to improved international cooperation. This contribution is a vote of confidence in the ability of Fletcher's faculty and leadership to help the next generation make a difference for good in the world."