UT Alumnus Establishes Scholarship for International Study

Published: Sep 5, 2007
University of Tampa alumnus Axel Claesges and his wife, Ann, recently established a $4,000 annual scholarship to support UT students’ participation in study abroad and international programs.

The annual scholarship, part of a comprehensive planned gift, was named the Axel and Ann Claesges Study Abroad Fund and will assist and encourage deserving undergraduate and graduate students with financial need to complete an international experience or study abroad program.

Axel Claesges, a 1962 alumnus, worked for 25 years as a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at West Virginia University and developed a study abroad program in Germany. Ann, a graduate of Vanderbilt University, served as a schoolteacher. Ann and Axel Claesges live in Nashville.

Dan Gura, vice president for development and college relations, said Axel and Ann Claesges were impressed with The University of Tampa’s intimate, residential atmosphere, and with the fact that their donation could make a large impact on students’ experiences.

Last May, four UT nursing students were awarded $1,000 scholarships each, which enabled them to travel with a group to Ecuador to tour medical and psychiatric hospitals, meet with local nursing faculty and students and engage in a community health project in an elementary school. The trip was part of the university’s nursing program's overseas medical mission, and was coordinated by Kim Curry, UT assistant professor of nursing.

Karen Alford, a UT nursing graduate student and one of the scholarship recipients, said the exposure to health care in a third world country was invaluable.

“I think all of us came away with a greater awareness and sensitivity to the cultural diversity we increasingly see in our local hospitals, clinics and various healthcare settings,” Alford said.

Gura said the gift also affirms The University of Tampa’s focus on global learning.

“Study abroad is a critical part of UT students’ educations, and the Claesgeses’ gift enables even more students to engage in global learning and global service,” Gura said.

For more information, contact The Office of Public Information at (813) 253-6232 or publicinfo@ut.edu.