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Robert Burns Lives!
University of South Carolina Scholar Studies Abroad at the University of Glasgow By Professor Gerard Carruthers

Edited by Frank R. Shaw, FSA Scot, Greater Atlanta, GA, USA

Susan and I met Joseph Durant while visiting the University of South Carolina a few years ago and were immediately impressed with him. The three of us ran into each other at subsequent meetings on the USC campus and, if possible, we formed an even more favorable opinion of Joseph.

Ironically, we had endowed a scholarship for students at the University of Glasgow a few years before Joseph arrived there for a study abroad experience. When the good folks at Glasgow awarded our scholarship to Joseph, we were pleased and happy for him, for us, and the university. Those involved made an excellent choice.

Hopefully over the coming years the scholarship will continue to grow and additional scholars will be selected for study. The two of us have scholarships at several universities in the United States but could not be prouder of the connection between the University of Glasgow and Joseph Durant. I will never forget the day the bursar, Mr. Bruce, visited my dorm room at North Greenville College in the mountains of South Carolina. He had come to inform me I had been awarded a $500 scholarship for my freshman year. That amount equaled 500 hours of work at Mr. Hull’s Esso station during high school and a thousand hours from the work scholarship I had my freshman year at college. The many trees on campus with their brilliant colors of red, yellow and orange seemed to bloom a bit brighter for me over the weeks to come. Furthermore, the dishes, pots and pans I washed in the cafeteria, the floors I mopped, buffed, and waxed, the linen I ironed in the laundry, all at fifty cents an hour, did not feel quite so hard to do every day for the remainder of the year. Maybe this is what is called “paying it forward”! (FRS: 8.10.16)

Joseph Durant

University of South Carolina Scholar Studies
Abroad at the University of Glasgow

By Professor Gerard Carruthers

Sponsored by the kind generosity of Frank and Susan Shaw and family, the Centre for Robert Burns Studies has been home to the first ‘Shaw Scholar’ during 2015-16. The recipient of this postgraduate package is Mr Joseph Durant (formerly an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina in Columbia). Joseph is working on an MPhil thesis, by research, the subject of which is the life and writings of Robert Burns’s friend, Maria Riddell (1772-1808). Among Maria Riddell’s publications, ripe for scholarly reassessment, are Voyage to the Madeira and Leeward and Caribbean Isles, with Sketches of the Natural History of these Islands (1792) and work in an edited volume, The Metrical Miscellany, consisting chiefly of poems hitherto unpublished (1802). Joseph is also working with a number of unpublished letters and a commonplace book by Maria Riddell

Frank Shaw is himself known to many Burnsians as a long time member of the Burns Club of Atlanta and for his excellent website, Robert Burns Lives! This article is slated to appear in the 2017 annual Robert Burns Chronicle and our thanks and appreciation go to Bill Dawson, Editor, for allowing this notice to be published in Robert Burns Lives!

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