Town & Country Magazine Recognizes Education Philanthropists

By Mark Walsh — May 01, 2015 2 min read
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Town & Country magazine, the bible of America’s landed gentry (and wannabes), is out with its annual philanthropy issue, featuring several education givers. And since I have never had a reason to grab a copy of the thick, oversized glossy for work, I couldn’t resist.

The May issue has already attracted attention because of its cover subject: Bill Clinton. The former president said in an interview with T&C that his role in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign should be that of a “backstage adviser” until “we get much, much closer to the election.”

Then, on page 154, after the ads for Tiffany, Harry Winston, and many other purveyors of fine jewelry, Fidelity Charitable, Thermador kitchen appliances, Tide detergent (really), and Acme Polo Mallets (not really), is “The T&C 50" in philanthropy.

The first three featured philanthropists are entertainers involved in education-related causes. The actress Jennifer Garner is involved with Save the Children, which aims to provide a healthy start to young children in the United States and around the world.

Next, singer-songwriter John Legend is featured for his involvement with LRNG (“learning”), which invests in teachers and “connected learning.” And third, Tony Award-winning performer Sutton Foster (“Anything Goes”) is featured for her support of the Excellence in Theater Education Award, which honors a K-12 teacher.

The rest of Town & Country‘s list honors a number of well-known philanthropists for their education projects (often among the giver’s other works). These include Eli and Edythe Broad (education reform), Michael Bloomberg (education), Reshma Saujani (Girls Who Code), George Lucas and Mellody Hobson (Edutopia), Tony Brown (Heart of Los Angeles after-school program), Eric Eisner (Young Eisner Scholars), Adam Braun (building schools around the world), and Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg (for gifts to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation earmarked for education).

And what about that Seattle-based husband and wife whose foundation does a lot with education? I think their names are Bill and Melinda Gates? Well, they made the list, but Town & Country cited only the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work on world vaccinations. Maybe next year they’ll get some love for their education work.

The magazine holds its Philanthropy Summit in New York City on May 7, which includes a panel on “Filling the Gaps in American Education.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Education and the Media blog.