Inspiring World Exploration

Alumni, Features, Giving — By on May 1, 2013 5:18 pm
Bob and Jan Jerry

Bob and Jan Jerry

“We liked to go places and not know where we were going,” said Robert (Bob) Jerry as he began to talk about his personal travel chronicles.

“Traveling to a country like Bhutan, I was amazed that they did not know who our president was.  Then again, I did not know who their king was, so why should I be surprised that they did not know who our president was?”

To his audience, the stories of his adventures proved vivid and captivating.

“It was interesting that they had a radio broadcast twice a week for two hours, and that was the only radio they had,” he continued.

“You have to recognize that this is the same man who was appalled that in our travels to Southern Indiana, they had paved roads that he was hoping were still gravel,” added Jan Jerry, Bob’s wife and travel companion.

For Bob, it been a lifelong mission to explore all the world has to offer.  He began his journey after high school during his time in the military.

“When I was young, patriotic and foolish, I was looking forward to going overseas.  I was looking forward to going out on the ship at dusk, saying, ‘Here I come world’.”

As a professor emeritus in Indiana State University’s Bayh College of Education, Bob saw his many travel experiences as one way in which he could provide a quality education to his students. His classroom was his platform, and his enthusiasm for travel and discovery not only influenced his own teaching, but also how his students learned.

Both Bob and Jan are advocates for study abroad experiences for Indiana State students. Through a recent gift to the ISU Foundation, they are ensuring that this opportunity is available to education students.

“Travel has been such a big part of his life; he really has been enriched by it and he wants to do that for others,” said Jan.

Bob established a charitable gift annuity (CGA) that will support both his wife and ISU students who have a desire to broaden their educational experiences internationally.  The $10,000 CGA will provide Jan with a stream of income for the rest of her life.  The remainder of the annuity will support the Robert H. and Marjorie C. Jerry Educational Travel Scholarship started by Bob and his late wife, Marjorie.

Bob’s teaching combined with his passion for international travel were motivating factors in the creation of this travel scholarship. It was first established in 2003 to support travel abroad opportunities for ISU students.

“When we started traveling overseas late in our career, we realized how beneficial it had been,” said Bob.  “I was teaching textbook, but after being there and seeing those things, I realized how much more meaningful it was.  The fact that you have been there affects how you teach.”

The scholarship benefits junior, senior and graduate students who are enrolled in teacher education programs.   It is awarded annually to supplement a portion of the cost of international travel related to a student’s course of study.

As a graduate of ISU and a lifelong educator in the Vigo County School Corporation, Jan thinks that the CGA supporting the travel scholarship not only provides students with unforgettable experiences during their time at ISU, but also influences their teaching after graduation.

“We want them [scholarship recipients of the fund] to be better teachers,” said Jan.

Since the scholarship was awarded in 2007, it has benefited seven students and their international travel experiences.

“If we could help some student have some experience, how rewarding,” Bob said.

To learn more about Charitable Gift Annuities or other planned giving opportunities supporting the university, please contact the ISU Foundation at 812.514.8400 or

Kim Bloch, G’10, is the director of communications for the foundation.

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