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Scholarship that honors Serbian prince opens world for Belgrade teenager

Tom Coyne
 

A Culver Connection

 

June 27, 2022

Andrija Lapcevic had never been to the United States, so he didn’t know what to expect when he arrived at Culver Summer Schools & Camps in June. The 15-year-old from Belgrade, Serbia, has a frequent response, though, when asked about his experience so far. 

“I like it. It’s cool,” he repeatedly says. 

Andrija was selected for a scholarship to attend Culver by the Crown Prince Alexander Foundation for Education and Culture. The scholarship is sponsored by Culver in honor of Crown Prince Andrew Karageorgevich II, who attended Culver Military Academy in 1960 and also attended summer camp.

Karageorgevich was born in 1945 in London’s Claridge Hotel, where Winston Churchill declared the suite as Yugoslav territory to conform with law that the heir to the throne must be born in Yugoslavia. The royal family ruled Yugoslavia until communists took power after World War II and abolished the monarchy. The family returned to Serbia after 2000.

Andrija said most Americans don’t know much about the Balkan nation of Serbia or its monarchy.

“Most Americans don’t know where Serbia is,” Andrija said. “Some call it Siberia. Some call it Syria. It’s OK. Most people don’t understand that we have a prince. But I have to explain that we also have a president. “ 

 Andrija, who has never met the prince, said the foundation considered his grades and his interview in selecting him for the program.

Andrija, a third classman in Naval 3, said he’s enjoying his time because at Culver he gets to play a lot of basketball, his favorite sport, as well as try new things, such as sailing and riflery.

“There are so many new things to do here, so many things to try,” he said. “And it’s easy to get around. Every class is near you. You can get anywhere in like 10 minutes.” 

Living like a prince.

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