Study Abroad Scholarship Created to Honor IES Abroad Co-Founders Clarence and Alberta Giese

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IES Abroad alumni contribute $68,000 for study abroad scholarships in Vienna, Austria, starting in 2011

IES Abroad today announced the creation and naming of the Clarence and Alberta Giese Endowed Scholarship, commemorating two of the three original founders of the international education, not-for-profit, organization. To date, more than 140 IES Abroad alumni have contributed $68,000 to the fundraising efforts for the scholarship, which will begin providing financial assistance for IES Abroad students studying in Vienna, Austria, beginning fall of 2011.

As co-founders of IES Abroad, Clarence and Alberta, who now reside in Albuquerque, NM, traveled with 23 students to Vienna in 1950 on an inaugural one-year study abroad experience and a mission to help U.S. college students discover another part of the world—post-war Europe.

When the Gieses returned to the states in 1951, they continued working with Paul Koutny, the third co-founder of IES Abroad, to recruit students and found a study abroad organization. Sixty years later, more than 5,500 students a year participate in more than 100 IES Abroad academic programs, in 18 countries, on six continents. The organization has close to 80,000 study abroad alumni worldwide.

In 1950, Clarence Giese was a World War II veteran and recent graduate of the School of the Art Institute in Chicago when he and Alberta sold their furniture and worked extra jobs to raise the $800 they needed for the first trip to Vienna. From 1950 to 1979, Clarence held various roles with IES Abroad, serving as President and also as Dean of Students in Vienna, Austria. He was awarded a distinguished service award from the city of Vienna in 1979.

Alberta (Harber) Giese worked closely with her husband over the years as an administrative assistant and unofficial student counselor. Her student open house dinners, attended by both American and Austrian students, launched a grand tradition when she served her famous chocolate brownies.

After returning to the U.S. in 1979, Clarence and Alberta homesteaded in Vermont and worked as volunteers for many groups, including a Navajo mission and hospice in New Mexico. A painter, Clarence has continued to create art and exhibit his work at U.S. and European galleries.

Clarence and Alberta, who have been married for more than 63 years, were joined at the IES Abroad 60th Anniversary Celebration by two of their four children, Sara Giese of South Orange, NJ, and Erika Giese Stever of Weehawken, NY.

Donors can contribute to the fund online by clicking here. They should indicate “financial aid/scholarships” and then write in “Giese Scholarship” in the special request box at the bottom of the form.

IES Abroad, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2010, is a global, not-for-profit academic consortium offering study abroad programs to more than 5,500 U.S. college students each year who participate in 100 programs at 32 international locations. IES Abroad offers programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America.

In October of 2010, IES Abroad received the prestigious Quality Improvement Program (QUIP) designation from The Forum on Education Abroad for meeting the highest standards for study abroad programming and evaluation in the nation.


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Carol Jambor-Smith
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