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O’Brien funds Boston College fellowship

Denis O’Brien.

By Ray O’Hanlon

Irish businessman Denis O’Brien has established a fellowship at Boston College that will provide two Irish students annually with a fully-funded master’s degree in business administration at the college’s Carroll School of Management in Chestnut Hill.

O’Brien, chairman and principal shareholder of Digicel Group, one of the world’s leading cellular companies, and owner and board member of Communicorp, Ireland’s largest media holding company, has, according to a release, created the Denis O’Brien Fellowship at Boston College to provide an opportunity for aspiring business leaders from Ireland to obtain a world-class graduate education at a premier American university.

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O’Brien graduated from Boston College with an MBA in corporate finance in 1982, the release stated.

And it added: The O’Brien Fellowship will cover the full cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, books and living expenses for the duration of the MBA program, as well as international travel to and from Boston. The candidates for the fellowship must be Irish citizens of exceptional academic and/or career achievement, who possess the high personal and professional standards of the program’s namesake.

"Boston College and Ireland have had a long and illustrious association,” said O’Brien.

“I am delighted to continue this with a Scholarship Program for two Irish nationals to have the opportunity to pursue a two-year MBA program in management at Boston College," he added.

Andy Boynton, dean of the Carroll School of Management, thanked O’Brien for establishing the fellowship.

“We are honored that Denis has created the O’Brien Fellowship at Boston College, as it will provide an invaluable opportunity for Irish students who want to pursue an MBA at one of the top business schools in the United States,” Boynton said.

“He is a person who has brought acclaim to his alma mater as a student, global business leader and generous alumnus. We are grateful for his support.”

Ranked fourth among business schools in the United States by Bloomberg/BusinessWeek, Boston College’s Carroll School of Management is internationally regarded for its graduate programs in entrepreneurial and asset management, corporate finance, marketing and accounting.

The MBA program, said the BC release, attracts top students from diverse backgrounds and experiences who work closely with Boston College faculty in a program that combines sequenced course work with experiential learning. Its alumni are among the top leaders in the corporate, non-profit and finance world.

The release added: “Outside of his extensive business interests, O’Brien chaired the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland, which featured teams from 160 countries and more than 30,000 volunteers, in the first-ever games held outside of the United States.

“O’Brien is also a director on the U.S. Board of Concern Worldwide and a member of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

“In addition, he is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Frontline, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders. Based in Dublin, Frontline works to ensure that the standards set out in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted in 1998, are known, respected and adhered to worldwide.

“He also established The Iris O’Brien Foundation to identify and assist projects in Ireland and abroad that aim to alleviate disadvantaged communities.”
O’Brien holds a BA degree from University College Dublin, which also honored him with an honorary degree in 2006.

Details on the O’Brien Fellowship are at: