Faculty, staff and students found out what the big announcement and reception was all about Tuesday afternoon in the University Center Commons: Webster University alumna Jane Robert ’69 and her husband, Bruce, have donated $1 million to establish the Jane and Bruce Robert Professorship in French and Francophone Studies in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences.
This is Webster’s first opportunity to recruit a full-time, continuing faculty member into a named professorship supported by an endowment from an alumna and her husband. It also ranks among the largest alumni gifts in the University’s history.
“Longtime friends of Webster University, Jane and Bruce Robert have now through their generosity significantly furthered Webster’s capacity for leadership in global academic excellence,” said Webster President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. “We are grateful to be a recipient of their philanthropy and to advance this university’s impact on students and community through a first-of-its-kind gift. For an alumna and advisory board chair to invest in her institution by enhancing our full-time faculty is notable and ground-breaking.”
The Robert French Professorship will support in perpetuity a scholar of French and Francophone studies, which encompasses the literature and culture of dozens of French-speaking countries.
Jane Robert is highly regarded locally, nationally and internationally as an advocate for the study of French. She earned her bachelor‘s degree from Webster in French Language and Literature in 1969, and also attended la Sorbonne in Paris, France, where she earned her Diplome d’Etudes de Civilisation during her junior year abroad
• Read the full story of the Roberts’ gift and the Robert French Professorship in the University news release.
• Related: Read more about Jane Robert — a member of the College of Arts & Sciences advisory board — and her entrance into the French Legion of Honor, in a 2007 post in Global Thinking.