Valparaiso University students who participate in Study Abroad programs will be eligible to receive scholarship support thanks to the generosity of alumni Kathleen ’82 and Robert ’82 Hansen. The couple has committed $3 million to establish the Robert and Kathleen Hansen Endowed Scholarship for Study Abroad.
“Kathy and I have been fortunate to live and work on three continents since graduating from Valpo, and we have seen our entire family benefit from these experiences,” Bob Hansen said. “We are passionate about giving Valpo students an opportunity to study abroad and prepare them for success in our ever increasing global economy.”
Valpo has offered Study Abroad opportunities to students since 1968, when the first programs were established in England and Germany. Approximately 35 percent of all Valpo undergraduate students study abroad prior to graduation, compared to fewer than 10 percent of all United States undergraduate students. The University consistently places among the top 40 master’s level institutions for undergraduate participation, as ranked by the Institute of International Education.
“Kathy and Bob’s philanthropic support of Valparaiso University is deeply appreciated,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “At Valpo, we aim to prepare graduates to excel in a global society. This endowed scholarship will provide resources in perpetuity for students to study abroad and participate in challenging, transformative real-world experiences that will help shape their lifetime of leadership and service.”
Valpo students have access to more than 45 Study Abroad opportunities located in 26 countries and offered in 12 languages. The University houses study centers in England, Germany, China and Costa Rica, as well as short-term, semester, and yearlong programs throughout Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Valpo is also a member of the Generation Study Abroad initiative, a partnership of nearly 500 institutions striving to double the number of college students studying abroad by 2020.
Bob chairs the Valparaiso University Board of Directors Advancement Committee, and he is co-chair of Valpo’s upcoming campaign, currently in the leadership gifts phase. Kathy earned a bachelor of science in social work, and Bob holds a bachelor of science in business administration.