Meaghan Ludlow, a MBA student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, has been named the first recipient of a scholarship designed to build on historic links between the southeast of Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Craig Dobbin Memorial Scholarship rotates in alternate years between business graduates from Memorial University and Waterford Institute of Technology. In 2010, a Waterford graduate will spend a semester studying in the Memorial MBA program.
Peggy Coady, director of graduate programs in the Faculty of Business Administration, said Ms. Ludlow is an ideal candidate for the scholarship. “Meaghan is an excellent student. In addition to her strong academic performance, she is also very active in student life,” she explained. “Her interest in the relationship between Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador will be an asset as she studies and researches at the Waterford Institute.”
Ms. Ludlow said she is proud of her accomplishment. “Being the first recipient of the Craig Dobbin Scholarship is an honour, particularly since Mr. Dobbin was such an influential entrepreneur and businessperson,” she said. “I am also grateful since the scholarship will allow me to continue my master’s studies on a full-time basis and to conduct research into the fishing industry, which is a significant part of my family history.”
Ms. Ludlow’s research interests centre on the effective use of branding in the fish trade. She is comparing the Irish and Newfoundland and Labrador experiences in this regard by working with companies and state agencies in each location. The research is seen as especially relevant to the coastal communities in both southeast Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador, where it will interest both fish producers and consumers. She is currently completing an academic exchange at the Waterford Institute of Technology and will be presenting her research in Newfoundland this spring.
Congratulating Ms. Ludlow, Dr. Thomas O’Toole, head of the School of Business, Waterford Institute of Technology, said the scholarship is a fitting way for the lifetime achievements of Dr. Dobbin to be commemorated meaningfully.
“Dr. Dobbin visited this institute in May 2003 along with Dr. Patrick Hillery, the late president of Ireland. It was clear then that he had a deep interest in this country and, especially, in developing closer 21st century ties between two jurisdictions that share such a rich past.”
Ancestors of Craig Dobbin came from Waterford and at least three of them were mayors in medieval times. Mr. Dobbin’s friends and family have supported the scholarship as a way of recalling the philanthropist’s affinity with Ireland and passion for Newfoundland and Labrador.
Among numerous accomplishments, Mr. Dobbin founded the world’s largest helicopter company, CHC Helicopters Corp. He was the honorary consul general of Ireland for Newfoundland and Labrador. Appointed an officer of the Order of Canada in 1992, he received a number of honorary doctorates from universities, including an honorary doctor of laws from Memorial University in 2000. In the same year, he was named Newfoundland’s Businessman of the Millennium. He died in 2006.
In addition to the Dobbin family, the Craig Dobbin Memorial Scholarship is funded by the Irish Government, the provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and business patrons.
Pat O’Callaghan, a St John’s businessman who chaired the donor group that established the scholarship, said the links between education and business enhance each. “There will be a fruitful harvest from this exchange of learning and it is a very worthy way to commemorate Craig Dobbin, who was a true innovator and entrepreneur across several decades and in various areas of economic activity. He left a rich legacy that we rightly recall.”