Sunrise Foundation Director Ann Syrett has a special place in her heart for Rotary and its Ambassadorial Scholars Program.  Way back in 1973, Ann spent a year as a Scholar, hosted by District 1210 in the British Midlands.  During that academic year, along with working on her  Master’s Degree at the University of Keele, Ann was “adopted” by her Rotary Counselor, Ron Lucas, of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Club, and his family and spoke at over 35 Rotary venues.  Her experiences in this much wider world than the one she grew up in, a small town on the Oregon Coast, piqued her interest in an international career and the rest is, as they say, history.  

Following completion of her MA, Ann pursued a career with US State Department and spent the intervening 30 years traveling the world as an American diplomat, serving at foreign posts as diverse as Rwanda and London, Paris and Haiti, Egypt and Antigua.  Her final and most challenging overseas position was as the US Consul General in Cairo, Egypt, in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the USA.  

When it came time to retire, Ann and Tony, her husband of over 30 years she met during her studies in Britain, chose the BVI as their home, having fallen in love with the Islands when Ann served at the US Embassy in Antigua.   Ann was delighted she would be in one place long enough to join Rotary herself and give back to the organization that played such a pivotal role in the direction her life took.  

“I can honestly say that my year as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar was the key to my life’s journey ever since.  It led me to a tremendously exciting life of public service and adventure and, even more important, it brought my path across that of the most important person in my life, my sweet husband, Tony.  Thank you, Rotary Foundation and all the Rotarians who support it, for everything!!”