News anchor says Rotary Scholarship gave him a broader perspective
Former Rotary Scholar Patrick Nolan
Far away and long ago are not enough to diminish the impact of a 1991 Ambassadorial Scholarship in Australia for Patrick Nolan. The anchor at the Fox TV station in Fort Myers, Florida, USA, says the emphasis on goodwill and understanding still provides a framework for his life.
“I’ve forgotten a lot of things in the past 20 years, but that year is like yesterday,” he says. As a student at the University of Florida, Nolan had been named an alternate through the Rotary club near his Miami home. At his graduation, his mother told him the good news: The scholarship was available.
“I was the default scholar,” he says, noting that the decision to accept was difficult because he had a job lined up at a TV station in Missouri. “My mom said, ‘You need to do this.’”
Nolan continued his journalism studies at Murdoch University in Perth, but most of his education was off-campus. “I learned how to see the United States from an outside perspective,” he says. “It made me proud to be an American and gave me a sense of humility.”
He gained empathy for immigrants and realized how little he knew about the rest of the world. “I learned there is always another perspective, usually several, and it’s incumbent upon us as journalists to seek those out.”
He tells Rotary clubs about his year whenever he’s asked and encourages young people to seek out similar opportunities. “Some experiences in youth fade away,” he says. “I realize the value of this one the more time goes by.”