HGSE receives record donation | News

The Harvard Graduate School of Education last week received the largest donation in its 102-year history.

Provided by two anonymous Harvard Business School alumni, the donation includes $30 million direct and a matching offer of up to $10 million in additional donations. Donors earmarked the funds to provide scholarships for the school’s recently revamped master’s program, Teaching and Teacher Leadership.

HGSE Dean Bridget T. Long said the school has already made progress toward raising an additional $10 million in donations to match the matching offer. She noted that she had worked with the two donors since the start of her term as dean and had been in discussions about the donation since last fall.

“I was incredibly, incredibly happy — overjoyed is probably a better word — about their generosity and our ability to secure this gift,” Long said.

Heather C. Hill, one of the program‘s co-chairs, recounted the moment she heard the news of the record donation.

“My jaw dropped. I was on the floor – all of it, the whole nine yards,” she said.

Its co-chair Victor M. Pereira Jr. said the donation would enable a diverse cohort of current and future teachers to learn in the new master’s program.

“Put simply, it removes a barrier,” Pereira said.

Launched in 2022, the new master’s program combines three previous HGSE programs – the Harvard Teacher Fellows, the Masters-level Teacher Education Program and the Undergraduate Teacher Education Program. It offers two tracks – one that allows novice and early career teachers to obtain their teaching certification and another for experienced teachers that focuses on developing leadership skills.

Long said the donation demonstrates an investment in education after public support for teachers has been “reduced” over the past two years.

She added that she hopes the donation will “send a signal about the importance of the profession and how important it is for all of us, for all organizations and individuals, to recognize, support and invest in our teachers”.

Since the donors were not HGSE alumni, Long cited the donation as an example of cross-school investment, a trend she hopes will continue.

“We have amazing, incredible alumni working across the education ecosystem, but they don’t traditionally have the kinds of salaries that alumni from other schools have, and so we have to be dependent and throw a wide net and I think they’re sending that signal,” she said.

Long also said donations to HGSE had a huge impact.

“When you invest in one of our students, you’re not just investing in one person, you’re investing in all of the other students, families and communities that they will then help,” she said.

—Editor Paton D. Roberts can be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @paton_dr.

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