07 December 2009

The Jack Reacher Scholars: A family affair

Photo: Jack Reacher Scholars

Students at the University of Sheffield who received scholarships thanks to the generosity of bestselling author, Sheffield graduate and Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield, Lee Child, received a special visit last week.

Author Andrew Grant, who is also Lee Child’s brother, returned to the University to meet the 25 undergraduate and 27 postgraduate students from each of the University’s five faculties, who were awarded the ‘Jack Reacher scholarships’ to provide them with financial assistance during their further studies.

Earlier this year, Jim, (who writes under the pen name Lee Child), and his wife Jane, made a generous gift to fund the scholarships for current Sheffield students. These awards were named the ‘Jack Reacher Scholarships,’ after the main character in Jim’s books.

With Jim and Jane - both of whom are also Sheffield graduates - based in the USA, Andrew was pleased to be able to meet the students who have been helped by the Grant family. The reception, hosted by Professor Dominic Shellard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs, took place in the newly-refurbished Rotunda in Firth Court. It provided the Jack Reacher Scholars with an opportunity to get to know each other, to meet Andrew, and to tell him about their University experience so far.

At the event, Andrew told the delighted students how Jim calls them his “brood” and takes a keen interest in their progress. Professor Shellard thanked Andrew for his family’s continued support of the University, and Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of the National Fairground Archive and member of the Scholarships Assessment Panel, presented each of the scholars with a special commemorative framed ‘Jack Reacher Scholarship’ certificate.

Professor Dominic Shellard, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for External Affairs at the University, said: “We are extremely grateful for the Grant family’s continuing and generous support of the University. As Andrew, Jim and Jane are all Sheffield graduates, we are always delighted to be able to have them back at the University. It is a particular pleasure to be able to welcome Andrew back to meet the Jack Reacher Scholars, who would not be here at Sheffield were it not for the generosity of the Grant family.”