Salzburg Global Seminar Mourns the Death of “Generous Supporter” Vi Lort




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Jul 30, 2018
by Salzburg Global Seminar
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Salzburg Global Seminar Mourns the Death of “Generous Supporter” Vi Lort

Vi Lort, Salzburg Cup winner, died on July 8, 2018 Vi and Roger Lort with the Salzburg Cup outside Schloss Leopoldskron

Salzburg Global Seminar would like to pay tribute to Vi Lort, a long-time friend and supporter of Salzburg Global Seminar who passed away on July 8, 2018.

Vi was the widow of Roger Lort, who served as vice-president, resident director, and treasurer at the Seminar between 1965 and 1991.

Vi, along with Roger, was a recipient of the Salzburg Cup, an honor bestowed upon individuals whose service to Salzburg Global merit special recognition.

She was a crucial part of the Lort team when the organization first visited the Middle East to recruit Fellows. Efforts in this direction were so successful because she was along to share the challenge of making contacts and conducting interviews. She was also one of the most active and supportive volunteers in memory, continually helping in the office with any task that needed doing, and was also a superb hostess, caring tirelessly for the needs of Fellows and Faculty.  

Vi played a pivotal role in the Seminar’s life for many decades. She contributed to the organization’s general operating budget and the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association.

Marty Gecek, chair of the Salzburg Seminar American Studies Association and director of American studies symposia at Salzburg Global, said, “All who had the privilege of knowing and working with Vi Lort, can attest to her love and affection for the Salzburg Seminar, which was demonstrated in countless ways throughout the many decades she was at the side of her husband Roger Lort, vice president, and treasurer.

“Vi was not only gracious, poised and welcoming to all who came to Schloss Leopoldskron, her wonderful humor and enthusiasm endeared her to all. For many years, she was a generous supporter of the Seminar, in particular, the American Studies program. Vi was one of the most positive individuals I have ever met, always seeing the bright side of things, despite her many medical challenges. With her passing, an important era of the Salzburg Global Seminar’s history has come to a close."

Tim Ryback, former director of Salzburg Global Seminar, said, “Roger and Vi were a model of dignity, honesty, kindness, and generosity of spirit, indeed the very embodiment of the Seminar spirit.  Roger could have been a high-flying New York investment banker, which indeed he was for a time, and Vi an even higher flying (in the literal sense of the word) airline hostess, but both decided to devote their lives to the Seminar, and saw the institution through complex times with a firm but gentle hand.  

“There is much talk about the spirit that continues to inhabit the walls of Schloss Leopoldskron. I believe the spirit of Roger and Vi remains in the very spirit of the Seminar.”