May 31, 2004 – A two-week summer residency program designed to change the way high school students think about business got a boost last week from International Capital and Management Company.
Cornel Williams, chief financial officer for the company, said in a press release that the St. Thomas private merchant banking firm has agreed to support the College Business Residency Program for five years. During that time it will contribute as much as $100,000 toward the program.
"We really liked the program so we decided not to fund it for just one year, but for five years," Williams said. Williams and company Chairman Richard J. Stephenson delivered a check to UVI President La Verne E. Ragster last week.
Ragster said the business program is part of the University's effort to build workforce capacity in the territory. "We want students to know that there is opportunity here that links you to the rest of the world," Ragster said. "Thank you for your interest in us," she told Stephenson. "Without your support we couldn't do it."
"We couldn't be more pleased to join you in a partnership," Stephenson said, "If you want to move these islands toward prosperity … it will be through business."
Stephenson, whose company also provides management advisory services to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, said the company is interested in promoting the health sciences at the University and in the territory. "There is a huge demand in that field," he said.
Dr Eustace Esdaille, chair of the Business Administration Division on the St. Thomas campus, said students in the residency program will explore the world of business from a college perspective with input from active members of the business community. The free summer regency program takes place over a two-week period in June. High school juniors and seniors are exposed to business-related concepts, are taken on field trips and concentrate on building a business project.
"I am really grateful to the International Capital and Management Company, Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Williams," Dr. Esdaille said. "This contribution is going to ensure that we reach young people and start to acculturate them to the world of business. Business is really the lifeblood of any country and the sooner we can get young people interested in that aspect of the economy, the better."
The residency program was originated in the summer of 2003. This year it will run from June 20 through July 2. Dr. Esdaille said some positions are still open.
For information about the College Summer Residency Program, call the UVI Business Division at 693-1300. For more on International Capital Management contact Williams at 777-1302.
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