A Passion for Language

A Passion for Language


Rosco Tolman and his son Bradley have given a unique gift to Utah State students with interest in foreign languages. Rosco’s passion for language study and world travel began with an LDS mission to Denmark, where he learned Danish.

“When I got back, I thought nobody would want to learn Danish,” Rosco laughed, “and that’s when I started taking German, then Spanish.”

Although Utah State did not offer a Spanish study abroad program at the time, university faculty encouraged Rosco’s decision to spend a quarter studying the language in Mexico City. After graduating from USU in 1962, his passion for the language and culture led to a Ph.D. in Spanish from the University of Utah and a career teaching at Central Washington University, including three years living in Mexico, most of it as the director of a study abroad program.

“It’s just a wonderful experience to go abroad and be immersed in a different culture and learn a different language,” he said. I don’t think you can have that kind of experience and not have it result in a positive impact in your life.”

Rosco gave his first gift of $1,000 in 2018, shortly after the death of his wife, NaDine, aiding two students who studied abroad in Spain. “I got a letter from Utah State requesting donations for student scholarships, and the timing couldn’t have been better,” Rosco said. The following year, at the age of 82, Rosco went to Europe and completed a 500-mile walk from southern France to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain — a pilgrimage he determined to make in NaDine’s honor.

Together with his son Bradley, the Tolmans created the NaDine Tolman Memorial Scholarship Endowment, which will provide study abroad opportunities to new USU students each year.

“To be able to help someone have the kind of experience that I’ve enjoyed, and create a lasting memorial to NaDine in the process, is very important to me,” he said.



Lance Beckert
CHaSS, Development Director
(435) 797-1611

Andy Kidd
CHaSS, Development Director
(435) 797-1992

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