Jane M. Robert, BA in French Language and Literature 1973, has received an Arts and Science Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia. The award, which recognizes Robert’s professional accomplishments since graduating from Mizzou in 1973 with a master’s degree in French Language and Literature, will be formally presented on Feb. 22, 2013, at the annual Arts and Science Banquet on the University of Missouri campus.
Currently the chair of the College of Arts & Sciences Advisory Board, Robert received the college’s 2008 Outstanding Alumna Award. In December 2010, she and her husband, Bruce, established the Jane M. and Bruce P. Robert Professorship in French and Francophone Studies with a $1 million gift to Webster University. It is the first endowed professorship in the university’s history.
Jane Robert is highly regarded locally, nationally, and internationally as an advocate for the study of French. From 1999 to 2003, she served as president of Alliance Française de St. Louis. She also was national president of the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA from 2001 to 2006 and president of St. Louis-Lyon Sister Cities Inc. from 2006 to 2009. In addition, Robert is president of Renaissance Française-USA, a national delegation that encourages the appreciation of French language and culture. Her new initiatives include serving on the founding boards of American Friends of the Musee d’Orsay and the St. Louis Language Immersion Schools.
Robert has received numerous honors and awards for her advocacy work, including the French Legion of Honor in 2007, which is the highest distinction awarded by the French government. L’Ordre des Palmes Académiques bestowed knighthood on Robert in 1998; in May 2012, she was made an officer in the organization. Jane and Bruce Robert received the gold medal of La Renaissance Française in October 2011 during a ceremony at the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie in Paris. The medal recognizes “eminent and exceptional service” in the promotion of French culture.