Ross School Founder Courtney Sale Ross was honored with the inaugural UCLA Global Citizen Award, which recognizes individuals making transformational change for the children of the world through visionary leadership in education in the global era. Mrs. Ross was presented with the award at the West Coast Celebration marking the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles on February 8.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who was introduced by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, discussed the importance of properly preparing today’s youth for the future. “The agenda around climate change and the agenda around sustainable development should be one and the same agenda, if we want to achieve peace—if we want to teach our children to think differently,” said Bokova. “In this, I think education and learning are playing an extremely important role.”
UCLA Wasserman Dean of Education and Information Studies Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, who nominated Mrs. Ross for the award, touted her as an education visionary, saying, “Courtney Sale Ross is a true pioneer championing transformational change. Ahead of her peers, she has recognized that preparing all students to meet the challenges of the 21st century requires an entirely new education model. We greatly admire her leadership in global learning and are honored to recognize her groundbreaking efforts.”
The Global Citizen Award was presented to Mrs. Ross by Dean Suárez-Orozco and UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, who remarked, “Ross School is an inspiring example of a 21st century education.”
left to right: Gene Block, Mrs. Ross, Marcelo Suárez-Orozco
Mrs. Ross has been an innovative leader and visionary in the field of global education for more than 25 years. She recognized that preparing students to meet the challenges of the 21st century requires developing models to transform education. Most recently, she initiated the historic gathering at the Vatican for Pope Francis’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences Workshop titled “Children and Sustainable Development: A Challenge for Education.”
“I am honored to receive this award and to have the opportunity to help lead the effort to develop solutions to the difficult challenges we face,” Mrs. Ross said. “I look forward to a continued collaboration and cooperation with today’s education leaders. It is the only way we will be able to expedite global consciousness.”
left to right: Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, Irina Bokova, Mrs. Ross, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Gene Block
The evening also celebrated the establishment of the new UNESCO Chair of Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, a position that will be filled by UCLA Professor Dr. Alberto Torres.