LSMSA Alumnus John Normand (’89) Establishes Scholarship to Encourage International Learning
LSMSA alumnus John Normand (‘89) is investing $50,000 to create a scholarship for current students who are interested in international learning.
Motivated by his own formative experience with summer study in Japan while attending LSMSA, the Normand Family Scholarship for International Learning will provide students with an opportunity to study abroad by removing financial barriers to their participation.
Normand values substantive experiences that broaden students’ worldview and give them an appreciation for how time abroad shapes personal, academic, and professional interests. As a junior at LSMSA, Normand saw a poster advertising a scholarship for a study abroad program in Japan. He had not travelled further than Texas, he’d never been on a plane, and he didn’t have a passport, but none of that stopped him from competing for the scholarship. As a semifinalist, he received a partial scholarship. Without the resources to make up the difference, his parents suggested reaching out to local businesses for sponsorships, and that’s what funded Normand’s dream to study abroad.
“I was, and still am, a very curious person about the world beyond the United States,” Normand said. “The experience was transformational in numerous ways beyond the self-confidence that living abroad brings. Anything I ever did from that year on had some international element to it.”
Normand attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate, studying abroad in Spain as a junior. He has worked for the World Bank and at a global investment bank. Unintentionally, he landed on language study (Normand speaks a bit of German, French, and Italian) as a pastime. He has worked in London for the past 25 years, where he is employed by an Australian pension fund. He is raising a trilingual child who, he says, is “so much further ahead” culturally.
“The opportunity to learn and explore, away from the expectations and norms of your background, can be a profoundly enriching experience,” Normand said. “I would like to make that option available to students who would not otherwise have the means to do so.”
Normand hopes students who receive the scholarship will share a report of their experience with other students and the LSMSA community and integrate it into their college applications.
Endowment gifts like Normand’s are unique in that they allow gifts to have a lasting impact on LSMSA students for generations to come.
“Through the visionary generosity of our esteemed alumnus, John Normand, a beacon of global learning now shines upon our students,” said LSMSA Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “John’s commitment to fostering international education illuminates pathways for our bright minds to transcend borders, broaden horizons, and discover academic excellence through the transformative power of travel. This scholarship is not merely a gift; it is a passport to boundless opportunities, empowering our students to navigate the world and realize their fullest potential.”
Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) is the preeminent state-supported residential high school with competitive admissions for Louisiana's high-achieving, highly-motivated sophomores, juniors, and seniors. As a public school, there is no tuition to attend, and assistance from the LSMSA Foundation ensures the program is available to all qualifying students regardless of family financial need.