Scholarship History

Beginnings of the Scholarship

Franklin-D-Roosevelt-2
The Trust was established on 5th November 1946 by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Francis Carney, after discussions with Dwight D Eisenhower on 20th October 1945. The objective was to recognise the great services rendered to the Nation by the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt as President of the United States of America during the Second World War and to perpetuate a local tribute to his memory by founding the Scholarship. The Lord Mayor wanted to let the Americans know how much we owed to the leadership of President Franklin D Roosevelt, who died just a few weeks before the Nazi surrender.

“The name of Franklin D Roosevelt will live for ever in the memory of man as one of the great architects of our victory,” the Lord Mayor said, as he urged local businesses to contribute towards his scheme to send four young Notts people to America as “unofficial goodwill ambassadors.”

The object of the Scholarship is to promote study and to obtain further education and in particular of the history and way of life of the American people by granting scholarships to young men and women of distinction and ability in commerce and industry to enable them to visit the United States of America.

The original Trustees were the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, the Chairman and Managing Director of Boots Pure Drug Company Limited, Governing Director of John Jardine Limited, Managing Director of George Spencer Limited, Managing Director of the Raleigh Cycle Company Limited, the President of the Miners’ Federated Union, Factory Manager of Ericsson Telephone Limited, the Chairman of the Nottingham Anglo-American Committee, His Majesty’s Divisional Inspector of the Ministry of Education, Manager of Westminster Bank Limited Thurland Street Nottingham, and several Justices of the Peace.

Scholarship History

1949 Scholars
Carney’s project was given the seal of approval by the Allies’ top soldier, Dwight D Eisenhower, who came to Nottingham later in 1945 to launch the scholarship. He was greeted by huge crowds in the Market Square chanting “We want Ike,” and he didn’t disappoint, delivering a speech in which, characteristically, he thanked everyone who had donned a uniform to help defeat Nazism, and those Nottingham people who made his GIs feel so welcome.  “Victories today are won not by armies and navies and air forces in the field, but by the heart and mind of the population.”  He said he wanted to see the two nations draw ever closer by “inter-mingling” and “co-operating.” The Roosevelt Scholarship is a product of that shared dream.

It would be another four years before all the arrangements could be finalised and four young men selected to pioneer the enterprise. They were John Adams, an Ericssons engineer from Bramcote; Boots education officer Denis Greensmith, from Lenton; Fred Riddell, a labour relations officer at Hucknall collieries, and Dennis Goldsworth, a graphic artist from Carrington. At a cost of £2,000, they were sent off to tour North America gathering information to help their careers, and spread friendship and goodwill along the way. Their visit included a weekend spent at the country estate of FDR’s widow, Eleanor, and she repaid the compliment 15 years later when she came to Nottingham to speak warmly about the scholarship and the young people it had helped.

To mark the Silver Jubilee of those first four scholar’s adventures, Sir Andrew Buchanan, Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, and chairman of the scholarship board of trustees at the time, said: “When I think of the distinguished Nottingham gentlemen who initiated the Nottingham Roosevelt Travelling Scholarship, I feel they would feel very gratified that Haven, grandson of Franklin Roosevelt, is joining us to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the scholarship.  “I have several friends of my age who were scholars in the early days and who are very grateful for the opportunity they had when travelling to the US was not as straightforward as it is today. “I take great pleasure in helping to select today’s scholars and I hope that young men and women from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire will continue to enjoy the benefits of the Roosevelt Scholarship for many years to come.”

The Roosevelt Club

Trip to Jerusalem
Trip to Jerusalem
Credit: Experience Nottingham
The Roosevelt Club was formed by past scholars as an indication of the lasting debt of gratitude to the Scholarship. Composed entirely of Scholars, they have, through the Club, devoted considerable time and effort to the perpetuation of the original idea of the Scholarship through fund raising and helping in any way they can. Past, present and future Scholars are also high on their list of priorities.

Eisenhower Connection

President Dwight Eisenhower
Extract taken from the Nottingham Evening Post bygones section on 26 November 1996

Ike mania hit Nottingham on October 26 1945. Dwight D Eisenhower was coming to town and everyone wanted to catch a glimpse of the man who won the war.

Schoolchildren were given a holiday, offices and shops closed, crowds lined the road as he made his way through the city, and more than 20,000 local folk packed the Old Market Square.Nottingham would see nothing to match the scenes until Nottingham Forest won the FA Cup nearly 15 years later.

The city throng treated Eisenhower like a pop star, chanting “We Want Ike”, forcing him to interrupt the luncheon being held in his honour so he could take a bow on the Council House balcony – followed by an encore to answer their cheers.

He was seven years away from the White House but that Nottingham greeting was a clear sign of his place in people’s hearts.

General Eisenhower had flown into Syerston Aerodrome and then travelled to West Bridgford for an official welcome. Crowds broke through the police cordon to get closer – Ike responded by raising his cap.

On his journey to the Old Market Square the mass of people – six deep in places – waved flags. According to Lord Mayor Francis Carney, Ike was overwhelmed by the greeting. The General was in Nottingham to mark the launch of the Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship, devised by Lord Mayor Carney and his colleagues in memory of former president Franklin D Roosevelt, to send young Notts people to America for three months as “ambassadors of goodwill” and to further their own careers.

Ike said it would strengthen the ties “consecrated by the blood which has been shed and mingled on the battlefield”.
Eisenhower gave a clue to the style that would carry him to the presidency in a stirring speech about the need for co-operation and friendship between the two countries.

He spoke about the “genius and intelligence” of local people who supplied the world. And he thanked Nottingham “for a day that has been wonderful in my life”.