Jane and Bruce Robert were recognized by La Renaissance Française – Paris in October, 2011, principally in recognition of the couple’s endowment of The Jane M. and Bruce P. Robert Professorship of French and Francophone Studies at Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. At the ceremony, the award was also presented to M. Abdou Diouf, Secrétaire Général of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, by Antoine Guerrier de Dumast, President of La Renaissance Française – Paris.
Mr. Robert has been active in Francophile projects for more than forty years. He has been a patron and participant in the Alliance Française, Sister Cities, American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay, Opera Lafayette, French Heritage Society and American Friends of Blérancourt. On a more direct level, in 1980 he accompanied Mrs. Robert on a high school exchange of French and American students, and in 1997 he organized and accompanied their son’s seventh-grade class to Toulouse, the Bourges region, and Paris.
Mrs. Robert, a former French teacher, has served as president or board member for many Francophile organizations, including the Federation of Alliances Françaises – USA. New initiatives include her role as a founding board member for the American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay and for St. Louis Language Immersion Schools, which offer full immersion programs in French and Spanish for disadvantaged students in the city of St. Louis. The French government has distinguished Mrs. Robert as an Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques and a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.