Courtney Sale Ross to Be Honored with Inaugural UCLA Global Citizen Award

Courtney Sale Ross
Courtney Sale Ross. Photo credit: Patrick McMullan/

UCLA will celebrate global philanthropist and educational visionary Courtney Sale Ross, the co-founder of Ross School in East Hampton, as the inaugural recipient of the UCLA Global Citizen Award, which honors individuals making transformational change for the children of the world through visionary leadership in education in the global era.

The introduction of the UCLA Global Citizen Award complements UNESCO’s 70th anniversary and their commitment to utilizing global knowledge to innovate, defend peace and develop sustainably.

UCLA Wasserman Dean of Education & Information Studies Marcelo Suárez-Orozco nominated Ross for the award for her commitment to quality education for all children.

“Courtney Sale Ross is a true pioneer championing transformational change,” Suárez-Orozco says. “Ahead of her peers, Courtney recognized that preparing all students to meet the challenges of the 21st century requires an entirely new education model. As founder and chair of the Ross Institute and the Ross School, Courtney has done fundamental work in urgent domains, including the education of refugee children in Sweden. Over the last few years, she has developed the Ross Learning System, recently showcased at a historic gathering of Pope Francis’ Pontifical Academy of Science’s Workshops on Children and Sustainable Development in the Holy See. With its sharp focus on education for sustainability, Courtney is again showing us the way forward in yet another vital educational domain.”

Ross’s work in education has been widely lauded by those in the educational and environmental communities. Suárez-Orozco, who is the director of the Institute of Immigration, Globalization, and Education at UCLA, co-edited the 2010 book Educating the Whole Child for the Whole World: The Ross School Model and Education for the Global Era.

“For more than two decades, everything that carries Courtney Ross’s imprint has symbolized international, out-of-the-box originality, especially through her efforts in education,” Quincy Jones has said in a review of “Educating the Whole Child.”

Oprah Winfrey has said that, “The Ross School is an exemplary model of what is attainable for global education in the 21st Century.”

Nobel Laureate in Physics Leon M. Lederman said, “The Ross School Model is clearly a profound example of what the nation and the world need so desperately.”

Nobel Laureate in Physics Georges Charpak has noted that, “Courtney Ross deserves admiration for her creativity and determination in building a new model for 21st century learning.”

In a review of the book, Deepak Chopra has noted that, “Courtney Ross has devoted her life to holistic education for young people. Educating the Whole Child for the Whole World tells the marvelous story of how one day they will be our future leaders and help create a peaceful, just, sustainable and healthy society.”

Prior to her work in education and global philanthropy, Ross was an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Additionally, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from her alma mater, Skidmore College.

The event will be held at the Skirball Cultural Center on Monday, February 8, at 6 p.m., and will include remarks by UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who is making a special appearance from Paris for the evening.

More from Our Sister Sites