The University of Pennsylvania announced a $16.25 million commitment from the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation for its Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE). The gift is the largest Penn GSE has ever received. The creation of the new McGraw Center for Educational Leadership will provide $10 million to prepare leaders who can manage change. An additional $6.25 million will expand existing support for the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, housed at Penn GSE since 2020.
“We all know that leadership is important, and few things are more important to our society than educating leaders who can handle change and are dedicated to educating people at every stage of their lives,” said Penn President Liz Magill. “With the launch of the McGraw Center, those dedicated to teaching and learning will be able to design more effective responses to the rapidly changing needs of today’s learners. We are deeply grateful to the McGraw family for their extraordinary generosity.”
The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit private foundation whose primary purpose is to improve the lives of others through thoughtful grants focused on education, youth service, community health and medical research. It honors the legacy of the former Chairman and CEO of McGraw-Hill, a global educational publishing and financial services company. Mr. McGraw has spent his career advancing education and literacy.
“We are very grateful that the McGraw family made this new center possible,” said Pam Grossman, Dean of Penn GSE and Professor of Education to George and Diane Weiss. “Society needs more and more educators who are well prepared to react to the accelerated change in the educational landscape, to turn challenges into opportunities and to develop pioneering solutions to complex problems. Building on Penn GSE’s outstanding legacy of preparing leaders in PreK-12, college and workplace education, the new center will encourage innovation in thought and practice.”
Scheduled to launch in Fall 2023, the centre’s program portfolio will focus on meeting educational challenges with an entrepreneurial spirit. Attendees include graduate students, mid-career school and college leaders, and corporate chief learning officers.
“My father would be delighted with the partnership we have formed with Penn GSE,” said Harold (Terry) McGraw III, past chairman, president and CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies and a 1976 Wharton School graduate. “He believed that excellence and innovation in education should be celebrated, and Penn GSE provides a world-class platform to fulfill and expand our mission.”
The McGraw Prize in Education honors those who are transforming teaching and learning with three $50,000 awards in education, higher education and learning science research, valued at $50,000 per year. On the evening of November 3, Penn GSE hosted an awards gala honoring the 2022 winners, Cheryl Logan, Superintendent of Omaha Public Schools; Barry Dunn, President of South Dakota State University, and Roy Pea, David Jack’s Professor of Education and Learning at Stanford University.
Past recipients have included Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy; Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvahlo; and Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America.
“Our family is excited about the new McGraw Center for Educational Leadership,” said Terry McGraw. “Our shared goal with Penn GSE is to develop future generations of leaders who span all types of education – from preschool to workplace learning – and who are at the forefront of educational excellence in the 21st century.”
More than 50 graduates of the Faculty of Management’s doctoral programs are currently serving as college presidents. The Chief Learning Officer PhD program, the first of its kind when it launched more than twenty years ago, has prepared leaders for workplace learning in finance, internet and technology, and manufacturing. Hundreds of graduates from Penn GSE’s master’s and doctoral programs in school leadership serve as superintendents, principals and other school leaders nationwide.
“The McGraw Center will have a multiplier effect and will have a large impact on schools, districts, colleges, universities and workplaces,” said Dean Grossman. “We have greatly appreciated our ongoing partnership with the McGraw Family Foundation over the past several years and look forward to taking this next step of transformation together.”
The center will be housed in Penn GSE’s (Almanac, May 3, 2022) ambitious building expansion currently underway, which will provide 21st-century classrooms and support the school’s portfolio of innovation, education and leadership programs in the heart of the Penn campus becomes .