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New Scholarship Supports Studying Abroad in the Emerald Isle

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of San Diego, an Irish-American charitable fraternal organization, has created an endowed Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of San Diego County Memorial Scholarship Fund at USDFriendly Sons of St. Patrick of San Diego, an Irish-American charitable fraternal organization, has created an endowed Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of San Diego County Memorial Scholarship Fund at USD

The Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of San Diego, an Irish-American charitable fraternal organization that was established in 1953, has created the new endowed Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of San Diego County Memorial Scholarship Fund at the University of San Diego.

The fund will provide scholarships to deserving and qualified undergraduate students at USD who are studying abroad in Ireland.

The local organization has more than 340 members and pays tribute to the patron saint of Ireland by fostering goodwill and fellowship among those of Irish ancestry and the greater San Diego community through social, cultural, athletic, educational and charitable events. It’s a local chapter of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland, which was established in Philadelphia in 1771 and is known as the nation’s oldest fraternal organization.

“Our goal is to tell the story of the Irish,” says “Doc” M.G. LaMar, MD, president emeritus of the fraternity, “We want the community to know who we are and the contributions we’ve made to this country.”

Members of the local chapter originally focused on putting on San Diego’s St. Patrick’s Day parade — the largest one west of Mississippi. Recently, however, the organization gained its nonprofit status and set its sights on charitable endeavors.

“The University of San Diego is the premiere Roman Catholic university in the region and it seemed like a natural fit,” says current president Mark Wheelan. “Studying abroad is a requirement for many students and we want to support those students who want to study in Ireland. We’re hoping to grow the scholarship so we can do even more.”

— Krystn Shrieve