Ruth Allard says Flinn Scholarship gave her the freedom to take chances

September 16, 2015

By Matt Ellsworth

Ruth AllardIn celebration of the 30th class of Flinn Scholars, selected earlier this year, several members of the Flinn Scholars Alumni Advisory Council have offered reflections on their own undergraduate experiences.


Flinn Scholar Class of 1990
Current Position:  Executive Vice President, Conservation & Experiences, The Phoenix Zoo  

Sandra Day O’Connor, Jane Goodall, Itzhak Perlman, William Rehnquist, Cats: The Musical. Sea turtles and sea stars, tapirs and tree frogs, volcanoes covered in mist. The Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower, Mayan ruins and Lake Managua. A marionette opera in Prague and beach camping in Portugal. Lifelong friends and trusted mentors, square dancing and tug-of-war. Free dinners, bridesmaid dresses, middle-of-the-night calls to comfort, cry, cheer, and champion.

The Flinn Scholarship has given me all of these experiences and countless others, allowed me the freedom to take chances, to fail and try again, to succeed and to celebrate.

I am forever indebted to the Foundation and its staff and Board for the faith and the investment they’ve made in me, and I continue to work hard to give back and give thanks. Those of you fortunate enough to have the same opportunity to say yes to the Flinn: Go for it. You’ll be amazed, and will amaze yourself. Welcome to the family.