Global Citizens with Renaissance Spirit


The Great Ideas Tour honors University of Alabama history professor John Fraser Ramsey by providing recipients the opportunity to travel Europe and discover their own sense of possibility and responsibility within a global humanity.  The Great Ideas Tour helps recipients craft an informed, intentional Tour that provides authentic encounters and space for reflection, while embracing Doc’s joie de vivre.

Guiding Principles

Informed · Experiential · Reflective · Transformative

  1. Informed. (Preparation before the Tour). The Tour recipient should engage their sense of curiosity about the historical, cultural, and philosophical achievements of Europe and seek to learn something about the foundational ideas of Western Civilization that Dr. Ramsey studied and taught and that the Tour represents. It is carefully thought out, planned, researched, and engaged with intention.
  2. Experiential. (During the Tour). The Tour is neither casual travel nor casual tourism.  The recipient should make an effort to achieve genuine human connection and gain both breadth and depth experiences. It is the recipient’s chance to experience firsthand the people, history, traditions, culture, and achievements of Europe.

    ” Ramsey Family on Tour” – Alabama Alumni Magazine, 1999

  3. Reflective. (During the Tour). The Tour recipient should ideally take some time to be alone—physically or in thought—to reflect on and process emerging insights from the Tour.
  4. Transformative. (After the Tour/Effect of the Tour). The Tour changes the recipient’s life and career powerfully and permanently. The recipient in turn helps transform the world for the better.

About the Tour

Applicants for the award are required to submit a one-page essay on what the Great Ideas Tour would mean to the applicant. Upon receiving the award, the recipient submits a proposed itinerary and works with the GIT Team for workshopping, instruction, and advising to ensure their tour fits with the mission of the Great Ideas Tour. Past recipients of the award and other members of the Ramsey Family living in Europe frequently invite the current recipient to make a stop in their city on the tour.

Recipients have the option to take the tour in the summer after their junior year or wait until after graduation their senior year.

The $4,000 stipend for the Great Ideas Tour will be awarded when the recipient confirms his or her trip.  During the trip the recipient is required to write reflections and post pictures in their personal blog for the Ramsey Family to follow, and check in periodically throughout the tour.

Upon return from the Great Ideas tour the recipient will present a short Great Ideas Tour Debrief and Mission Response to be presented at the annual awards banquet the following spring.

For current recipients: Read Reflections and advice from those who have been on their tour (Compiled by Jan Duvall):

What Every Ramsey Should Know About the Great Ideas Tour

Read an article published in the Alabama Alumni Magazine about the Great Ideas Tour in the February-March 1999 Issue:

Ramsey Family on Tour AL Alumni Magazine 1999

Read  Reflections  from past recipients on their Great Ideas Tours:

(This section may prove useful to applicants for the award or current recipients planning their GIT tours)

2022: Corinne Baroni

Corinne Baroni in Amsterdam
Corinne (2022) in Amsterdam
  • Blog Introduction
  • London, England
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Paris, France
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Munich, Germany
  • Rome, Italy
  • Northern Italy
  • Venice, Italy
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Wales
  • Ireland
  • Norway
  • Scandinavia
  • Sweden
Jackson Foster (2021) in Glasgow, Scotland
Jackson (2021) in Glasgow, Scotland

2021: Jackson Foster

2020: Logan Goulart

2019: Emily Adams

2018: Asia Monet Hayes

Asia Monet (2018) in Lisbon, Portugal

2017: Charlotte Watters

2016: Rachel Ramey

2015: Derek Austin Carter

2014: Brian Kevin McWilliams

2013: Samuel Christian Lee Hand

  • France
  • Austria
  • Brian (2014) at The Louvre in Paris, France


  • UK
  • Spain
  • Dublin, Carlow, Kenmare, Balleyvaughn and Beaulieu/Drogheda, Ireland
  • Athens, Nafplio, Mycenaie, Epidavros, Monemvasia, and Corinth, Greece
  • Final Reflections

2012: Hannah Elisabeth Hicks

2011: Lindsay Jones Lindsey

2010: Benton Atchison

2009: Dana Lewis

2008: Alex David Flachsbart

Trey (2007) in Venice, Italy

2007: Jack (Trey) Hayes, III

2006: Kristi Marie (Wilcox) Arth

2005: Jon David Conolley

2004: Jason Michael Spruell

2003: Kristen Gail Robinson

2002: Andrew Todd

2001: Joshua Allen Moore

  • Mannheim and Heidelberg, Germany
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • France
  • Sweden

2000: Ryan Christopher King

  • Glasgow and Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Brussels and Liege, Belgium
  • Florence and Brindisi, Italy
  • Athens and Mykonos, Greece
  • Vienna, Italy
  • Munich, Mannheim and Dortmund, Germany
  • Paris, France
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • London, England
  • Final Reflections

1999: Katherine (Kit) Elise Perrien

  • Vienna, Austria
  • Interlaken, Switzerland
  • Cinque Terre and Siena, Italy
  • Sorrento, Pompeii, Amalfi Coast, and Isle of Capri, Italy
  • Bari Italy
  • Paris, France
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Groningen and Amsterdam,  Netherlands
  • Holyland, Wales
  • Dublin and Dingle, Ireland
  • London, England
  • Bonn, Germany
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Summary of Kit’s Travels

1997: Scott Dickerson

  • Amsterdam
  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Vienna
  • Prague
  • Budapest
  • Brussels
  • Amsterdam
  • Final Reflections

1995: Darren Nathaniel Mowry

  • London, England
  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Salzberg, Austria
  • Final Reflections

1994: Mallory Hayes Rottinghaus

  • London, Salisbury, Oxford, Stratford-upon-Avon, Canturbury, and London, England
  • Edinburgh and Iverness, Scotland
  • Paris, France
  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Munich, Germany