Nordia Beckford

At the tender age of 16 years old, after graduating 5th form and completing lower-six at the St. Andrew High School for Girls, Nordia Beckford determined that she wanted to spread her wings.  And so, the former Vaz Preparatory girl doggedly pursued and obtained a scholarship to complete high school at the prestigious Fryeburg Academy in Maine.

Nordia graduated at the top of her graduating year and was rewarded a scholarship to Albright University.  And as expected she excelled at Albright, earning the Samarvir Sahi 92 Outstanding International Student Award.  This award was established in memory of Sam Sahi '92 and is given to an international senior student who exhibits extraordinary strength of character and intellect.  Nordia graduates from Albright with a B.Sc in Biology.  She will be pursuing medicine.

When Sam Sahi arrived at Albright in the Fall of 1988, he was impossible not to notice – tall, extraordinarily handsome, be-turbaned, with a flashing smile and a gracious, courtly manner. He was a brilliant student. Deeply informed by his earlier education, he relished discussion and debate. Proud of his heritage yet open to all that was new, he devoured all that Albright had to teach. He was a great friend to so many Albrightians, the rare sort of person who saw potential in everybody, and treated them with an integrity and respect that encouraged that potential to flourish. What a treasure he was! Within two years after his graduation, we’d lost him to thyroid cancer. Three years ago, 20 years after Sam’s untimely death, Sam’s Family created an Award in Sam’s name for an International Student whose spirit, intellect, and character mirror Sam’s own. This year’s choice does genuine honor to Sam’s memory. A deeply successful student, yet a joy to be with, proud of her heritage as a strong Jamaican woman, yet eager to engage with all that Albright offers. A person of dignity and grace. Sam would have been her friend. Nordia Beckford  — with Nordia Beckford.


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