« Back

Tulane alumni create study abroad fund

Tulane alumni couple, Ann and John Rossi, know firsthand that studying abroad can be an illuminating and life-changing experience, and one they wanted to pass on to more Tulane undergraduates.

Ann and John Rossi

Ann Rossi, a native New Orleanian who earned a dual Bachelor’s degree in music history and French from Newcomb College in 1978, studied abroad in France during her junior year. She says the experience of being immersed in the language and culture of another country was incredible.

Rossi, along with eight other Newcomb students, spent six weeks on home-stays in Dijon, then lived and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris for the academic year. There, they regularly visited museums and attended theater twice a week. “It was a very culturally-rich experience,” she says.

John Rossi, who received a Master’s degree in English from Tulane in 1978, didn’t study abroad during school, but travelled frequently after graduation for his careers in the oil industry and investment banking. Business took him all over Europe and Asia where he learned the vast and subtle ways that communication styles and business practices differ from country to country.

“My great regret is that I did not get to study abroad in school,” he says. “I came to fully appreciate it after graduation as the missing aspect of my education.”

The couple passed along the importance of bridging other cultures to their three children, who have all travelled internationally. Their daughter Lizzy is a Tulane sophomore who plans to study abroad next year. She is also a fifth-generation Tulanian—a legacy that began with Ann Rossi’s great-grandfather Louis S. Charbonnet, who graduated from the medical school in 1901.

Ann and John Rossi are happy their endowed fund has helped open up the world for so many young Tulanians.

“You can’t have a complete education without global experience,” John says. “We’re thrilled to be a part of making that happen for students.”

Mary Sparacello is a communications specialist in the Office of Development Communications.