NEW YORK – New York University and its Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service will announce the creation of a scholarship fund for African graduate students at a reception and dinner honoring Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa, on Tuesday, September 18, 2001. NYU President L. Jay Oliva will also award the University’s Presidential Medal to Mr. Mandela at the invitation-only fundraising dinner at NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library.

Among the dignitaries expected to attend are: U.N. Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan; President Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique; Graça Machel, noted children’s and women’s rights activist and wife of Mr. Mandela; Richard C. Holbrooke, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; and William McDonough, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The goal of the fundraising dinner is to raise $2 million for the African Public Service Fellowship Fund. This fund will provide need-based financial assistance to African students pursuing graduate studies at the Wagner School.

Dr. Oliva says, “We are deeply honored by this association with Nelson Mandela, whose courage and strength led to the downfall of apartheid and who continues to lead democracy-building efforts in Africa.”

Jo Ivey Boufford, dean of the Wagner School, says, “The Wagner School is nationally recognized for its research and teaching in such areas as government, health policy and management, urban planning and nonprofit management. African students come here to gain the expertise needed to support economic development and democracy-building efforts in their home countries. The Fellowship Fund’s aim is to knock down financial barriers and expand the opportunities for African students to study at Wagner.”

Established in 1938, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service is the largest school of public administration in the nation. The Wagner School offers advanced programs leading to the professional degrees of Master of Public Administration, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Science in Management and Doctor of Philosophy. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Wagner’s healthcare policy and management program No. 1 in the nation. The School’s nonprofit management, public finance and urban policy specialties also ranked among the top ten in that survey.

New York University, established in 1831, is one of the largest and most prestigious private research universities in the United States. Through its 13 schools and colleges, NYU conducts research and provides education in the arts and sciences, law, medicine, dentistry, education, nursing, business, social work, the cinematic and performing arts, public administration and policy, and continuing studies, among other areas.

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