After years of traveling to and living in countries around the globe, Barbara and Pete Bassi know first-hand how connected today’s world is. Being able to appreciate other cultures, learn from them and recognize the opportunities they provide are experiences that have helped them grow both personally and professionally.
By establishing the Barbara and Pete Bassi Study Abroad Scholarship, they hope to make it more affordable for Wichita State University students to get those same experiences. The new scholarship targets students in the W. Frank Barton School of Business.
“We believe that education is found not only in the classroom but also in experiencing and interacting with other cultures around the world,” said Barbara Bassi, a 1972 graduate of Wichita State. “Helping students to experience a different culture will enhance their educational breadth.”
As chairman of Yum International, an operator of fast-food restaurants around the world, Pete Bassi worked in many diverse countries, often accompanied by Barbara. Today, they live in Newport Beach, California, but still travel extensively in retirement.
When Barbara agreed to serve on the WSU Foundation’s National Advisory Council, she visited her hometown after many years of living elsewhere.
“It has been very interesting to return to Wichita and see all the changes in both the city and WSU,” she said. “The growth and prospects for the future of the city and university have caught our attention and we want to be a positive force in those changes.”
As a student at Wichita State, Bassi worked in the president’s office and also was a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority. She looks back at that time with fondness. “The education I received helped me grow personally and become a mature individual,” she said.
The Barbara and Pete Bassi Study Abroad Scholarship is aimed at business students who need financial assistance to take advantage of WSU’s programs for study in other countries. Students may study in any of the countries where study abroad programs exist, although the Bassis have designated France as a preferred destination.
Wichita State has an agreement with a private business school called Groupe ESC Pau in Pau, France. Most classes are international business courses in areas such as marketing, entrepreneurship, management and finance. Students have the option of studying in the fall and spring semesters or enrolling in the Global Entrepreneurship Experience, an eight-week-long summer program.
“This scholarship is a wonderful gift to our students,” said Anand Desai, dean of the Barton School of Business. “Exposure to different cultures and global business practices enriches the educational experience of our students. The generous scholarship funded by the Bassis helps make the international experience affordable to our students." If you’d like to learn more about ways to enhance educational opportunities for Barton School of Business students, contact Joe Swanegan, WSU Foundation senior director of development, at 316-978-3948 or email@example.com.