Academics and Research / Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

College of Education receives $10 million gift toward $35 million campaign

The University of Denver’s fundraising campaign for the College of Education, slated to raise $35 million — $25 million for a new building and $10 million for the college’s endowment — has received a boon with a $10 million gift from philanthropists Carrie and John Morgridge. In addition to funding building construction, the gift will be used to create the Institute for Early Learning and Literacy. 

The College of Education will be renamed the Morgridge College of Education.

Five million dollars will go toward construction of the new building, which will be located on Evans Avenue between Race and High streets. The remainder will fund the new institute’s start-up costs and endowment. The Morgridge Endowed Professorship will be established and funded through the institute’s endowment. The Morgridges will serve as co-chairs of the College of Education campaign committee. 

“The College of Education is sharpening its focus on the critical issues that impact America’s future, like early childhood education, multicultural education and access to higher education,” says DU Chancellor Robert Coombe. “The Morgridges’ generous gift will help the college fulfill its vision to be a global leader in innovative and effective approaches for promoting learning.”

The Institute for Early Learning and Literacy will house the Reading Recovery University Training Center, which is a short-term intervention offering one-to-one tutoring for the lowest-achieving first graders. The center will coordinate professional development and training for the State of Colorado’s Reading Recovery teachers and leaders and also will concentrate on applied research in education and coordinate related community outreach projects.

“Education is our top priority, and that’s why we’re excited about this gift to DU’s College of Education,” says Carrie Morgridge. “The Reading Recovery program in particular is very special to us because it teaches the bottom 10 percent of first-graders to read. Education is the best mechanism for closing the poverty gap in our society.”

Carrie Morgridge serves on several Denver-area boards and foundations, including the University of Denver Board of Trustees. John previously co-chaired the Colorado Technology Alliance with Marc Holtzman. The alliance was an initiative of former Gov. Bill Owens that served as a clearinghouse for high-tech companies seeking to expand or relocate in Colorado. Together the Morgridges have donated to many local charities, including the Denver Public School Foundation, Mile High United Way, Children’s Hospital and the national Reading Recovery program. 

“We intend to become a major force for positive change in schools and communities throughout the nation,” says College of Education Dean Ginger Maloney. “The new building and the substantial endowment will enable the college to become a world-class College of Education that will attract the best students and faculty.”

The College of Education has numerous graduate-level programs. In addition, the college administers DU’s Teacher Education Program, the Fisher Early Learning Center and the Ricks Center for Gifted Children.  Research and scholarship at the college has led to the creation of several innovative programs in recent years including the Boettcher Teachers Program and the Ritchie Program for School Leaders. Graduates from the college have the skills necessary to tackle some of today’s most important issues including early childhood education and educational administration.

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