General Course student support extended

The John C Phelan General Course Scholarships have been renewed for another three years, extending support to students up to the 2016/17 academic year.

First established by alumnus John Phelan (General Course 1985), pictured, in 2006, the renewal of the gift will see ten General Course students supported from 2014/15 over a three year period, having already supported ten others between 2011/12 and 2013/14. In total, Mr, Phelan has donated $750,000 for scholarships to the LSE.

The General Course is a year-long programme, in which students from abroad can study any combination of the 250+ undergraduate courses taught at the School. Disciplines can vary from Anthropology and Geography to International History and Law. 

Mr Phelan, who has gone on to co-found and co-manage MSD Capital since taking the course at LSE in 1985, was motivated to support those who wished to follow in his footsteps by his experiences, both at the School and in the UK in general. “My time at LSE had such a significant impact on me, both educationally and from a personal perspective. I believe all students would benefit from a year abroad as part of their educational experience.” 

He added: “I have very fond memories and feelings for LSE – it is definitely one of the key factors behind my success and I am hopeful that future General Course scholars will come away feeling the same way.  An artist friend of mine once created a ski lift ticket with a motto that really resonates with me: ‘Give more than you take’.  I am deeply indebted to LSE for my experiences there, and by being involved with the School and funding scholarships I hope that I am giving more than I have taken.”

Those who have already benefited from Mr Phelan’s generosity emphasise the benefits of studying such a varied course. “I am taking courses about the international history of the cold war, cultural perspectives on war and war strategies, exploration of the terms sovereignty, rights and justice, and contemporary global literature and society,” said Pakistani student, Maliha Ali. “It is a rich mix of courses and I leave each lecture and discussion session full of energy and ideas, and I can investigate these even further through the many public lectures at LSE. The School has certainly delivered the kind of energy and magnetism that I imagined, and I am so excited for the year ahead.” 

Anhad Hundal, who has taken a year out from her studies at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York, appreciates the way in which the General Course widens her perspectives. “With my interest in social sciences and my desire to be challenged in different ways, the General Course was the definitive next step for me and my education. I am currently taking courses on global perspectives of gender, development and the inter-sections between economy, society and space. John Phelan’s kindness and support has helped me substantially in my endeavours, not only by decreasing the financial burden on me and my parents, but also providing me with the knowledge that there is someone who believes in what I want to achieve.” 

US student Han Wang said: “For a student majoring in mathematical finance, the LSE is a place where aspirations become reality. Taking rigorous mathematical economics and finance courses at the LSE for a year will certainly enhance my employability.” He added: “Because of the scholarship, I am almost certain to also work in the field that I am interested in, and I hope that one day I could be in the position to do the same for others.”