Belmont Abbey College Alum, Community Leader Gives Students Helping Hand — Two Students Receive Lowry Travel Grants for Study Abroad Program

May 27, 2005 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
BELMONT, NC —- Belmont Abbey College’s Study Abroad Program has awarded two students Lowry Travel Grants to help finance their trips during the fall semester.

Senior Benjamin Byrd and junior Elizabeth Cunneen will each receive $500 to cover their travel costs. Byrd, an international business major, plans to attend the Abbey’s Spanish Program at Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquin (PLFM) in Antigua, Guatemala. Cunneen, a theology major who is looking forward to traveling all over Europe, will be attending the Abbey’s French Program at the University of Poitiers in the fall.

Both students will not only live with local families and receive intensive one-on-one language instruction, but they will also learn local customs and travel the region.

“I’m extremely excited and grateful for the travel grant award,” says Cunneen, a native of Lilburn, Georgia who will leave for France in September. “I don’t think I would be able to go without it. Paying the extra cost of the flight would have put a bit of a strain on me and my family.”

Byrd agrees. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Byrd will leave for Guatemala in August.

Students must first qualify academically (a minimum cumulative average of 2.5) before they can enroll in the Abbey’s Study Abroad Program. In addition to offering semester programs in France and Guatemala, Belmont Abbey College will also be offering a summer study trip to Oxford and other points in England.

The Lowry Travel Grants for the Study Abroad Program are named for Abbey alumna, Johnnie Lowry ’81. Lowry, a retired banker and Gaston County native, was the first female officer of the Bank of Belmont (later, Wachovia Bank) and had served Belmont Abbey College’s Board of Trustees as its first female member (1977-1983). A longtime friend and supporter of the Abbey, Lowry has a long history of philanthropy and has personally dedicated herself to a number of College projects and initiatives from scholarships to Abbey athletics and the Abbey Players.

Ranked one of the best liberal arts colleges in the South by U.S. News and World Report, Belmont Abbey College celebrates excellence and virtue steeped in its 128 year Catholic Benedictine heritage. It is home to students from over 34 states and 17 countries and welcomes everyone from any background or tradition committed to this vision of excellence and virtue. The campus consists of the College, the Monastery and the Abbey Basilica, which can be found on its sprawling 650 acres of picturesque landscape.

Just minutes from Charlotte, NC, the nation’s second largest banking center, Belmont Abbey College offers students numerous internship opportunities and career placement.

The College believes in development of the whole person – mind, body and spirit. By offering a wide array of clubs and activities including Division II athletics, theatre, publications, and study abroad, Belmont Abbey College invests in the personal growth of its students.

Founded in 1876, the College celebrates its heritage and is inspired by the Benedictine monastic tradition. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the College and Abbey Basilica greet thousands of visitors each year.