The Ray Johnson and Jeanne Muzzillo Study Abroad Endowed Scholarship supports International Studies and packages for observing overseas student tour.

“I wasn’t sure what could come from my philanthropy,” said Johnson, “But it’s been a notable experience meeting students and helping them make bigger their horizons. It’s a great feeling.”

Johnson’s gift encourages students to pursue their passions and discover the ever-changing global. This is the second scholarship Johnson has mounted at Illinois State University, the first being The Ray Johnson Endowed Scholarship for college kids within the College of Fine Arts.

From small city to international tour

Growing up on a farm in rural Illinois, Johnson recollects coming to Illinois State and questioning that Bloomington-Normal changed into a big town. He might quickly realize just how huge the world has become after completing his time at Illinois State and visiting the sector. Johnson graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. He then went on to work for State Farm Insurance for 34 years. When his holiday time expanded to 3 weeks in keeping with the year, he started out traveling overseas to locations he had best seen in films such as Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, South America, and Thailand, to name a few. Johnson became so laid low with this time in new cultures that he made it his project to journey as a way and as frequently as he may want to.

In 2013, Johnson met Jeanne Muzzillo, an English schooling professor at Bradley University, and that they quickly embraced a mutual love of international journey. Jeanne has taught overseas in London, England, and Rome, Italy, and has become keen to look greater of the world. They percentage a ardor for lengthy-distance trekking and have trekked over 2,000 miles of trails over time collectively in some of the maximum beautiful locations globally, along with Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy. This yr, they’ll hike via England and Scotland, in addition to taking time to go to Ireland. Experiencing cultures in outdoor America has given them a new angle on life and the benefits of meeting people from other elements of the world.

Giving the gift of attitude

Johnson could not observe abroad all through his time at Illinois State and needs that he ought to have carried out so in advance in his existence. The Ray Johnson and Jeanne Muzzillo Study Abroad Endowed Scholarship become created so greater students will have the possibility that he did not. “I want to provide a scholar like I as soon as changed into the danger to move somewhere that they may not even realize exists. It is turning into an increasingly more interconnected international. The greater exposure we can provide people, the higher,” stated Johnson.

The Study Abroad application at Illinois State is sending over 650 students abroad this yr, which is the most in Illinois State University records. With more than 90 programs in over forty-five exceptional countries, students have endless options for discovering the sector. Johnson’s scholarship celebrates the University’s middle values of variety and inclusion—college students who study overseas may be capable of revel in their new peers’ home nations firsthand, giving them greater knowledge.

Encouraging destiny contributors

Alumni like Ray Johnson realize the significance of giving again to the University that gave them so much. Johnson says to destiny and capability donors, “If you have the assets to do it and you have a ardor for something, donate to it now. You will experience so fulfilled knowing that you are assisting students through your gift.”