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UCSB’s Gevirtz School Given $500,000 Kresge Challenge Grant

The Kresge Foundation has awarded a $500,000 challenge grant to the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at UCSB to help complete construction and assist in fundraising for a new facility that will house the school and its clinical outreach programs.

The challenge requires that the GGSE raise an additional $1.7 million in private support by Sept. 1, 2009, toward the $7 million capital project. This is the first time the prestigious foundation has awarded a grant to UCSB.

The new building will greatly enhance the Gevirtz School’s mission to become a hub of scholarship, research, and service, and a national leader in developing the expertise to solve the most serious educational problems.

“We thank the Kresge Foundation for their generous support and challenge to raise funds in support of our Gevirtz Graduate School of Education,” UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said. “The new building will be a showcase for the outstanding research and teaching by our renowned faculty and dedicated students in education, as well as an important facility for clinical outreach to the community. We are most grateful to our campus friends for their continuing generosity to support this critically needed facility.”

The capital campaign coincides with the Gevirtz School’s yearlong celebration of “100 years of preparing educators.” The Santa Barbara State Normal School — UCSB’s progenitor — was established in 1909 as a two-year college program for training manual arts and home economics teachers. The Gevirtz School has been educating teachers for nearly a century.

“We are very grateful to the Kresge Foundation for their confidence in our mission to make a difference in the lives of Californians,” said Jane Close Conoley, dean of the GGSE. “This challenge grant enhances our fundraising efforts to create a home for our marvelous programs that serve the local, state and national needs in teaching quality, mental health, educational and policy research, and for capacity building in our schools to eliminate the achievement gap.”

The Gevirtz School prepares teachers, educational researchers, psychologists and school leaders who are committed to improving public education — and thus every child’s experience in the classroom and beyond — through research and collaboration.

The new building will be dedicated to the healthy development and educational success of children, adolescents and adults in schools and society at large. This will be symbolized by its bell tower, which will be named in memory of Julie Goldrich Warner, the daughter Marilyn Gevirtz. The tower is reminiscent of the bell towers that once topped community schoolhouses across the country. The graduate school is named in honor of Marilyn Gevirtz and her late husband, Don, a former U.S. ambassador.

The new building will feature academic and research centers, “smart” classrooms, clinical and conference spaces, faculty offices, a lobby and atrium, a fourth-floor balcony and patio, and a learning garden. It also will be home to expanded, technologically updated spaces for the Koegel Autism Center; the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Center for Asperger Research; the Hosford Counseling and Psychological Services Clinic; and the Psychology Assessment Center, thereby enabling the school to extend its outreach into the community.

The Kresge Foundation supports communities in the United States and around the world by strengthening the nonprofit organizations that serve them. The foundation was established by Sebastian Spering Kresge in 1924 “for the promotion of human progress.” Over the years, the foundation has helped build the nation’s nonprofit infrastructure — libraries, community centers, schools, hospitals, art museums, food banks and countless other facilities.

Historically, the foundation’s challenge grant program has funded nonprofit organizations that are engaged in capital campaigns to raise private funds in support of institutional growth through the construction of new facilities, and other similar projects.


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