Education Funding

Fonda Gives Harvard Ed. School $12 Million

By Marianne D. Hurst — March 07, 2001 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Jane Fonda has donated $12.5 million for the establishment of an interdisciplinary research center at Harvard University’s graduate school of education—the largest personal donation the school has ever received.

The Harvard Center on Gender and Education will specialize in exploring the effect that gender has on the learning and development of children.

“It will be built on the great work that’s already going on here at the school,” Jerome T. Murphy, the dean of the graduate school, said of the gift from the actress. “Jane Fonda’s generous commitment offers Harvard an incomparable opportunity to examine, both domestically and globally, the issues that affect how boys and girls learn, and to develop ways to strengthen their resilience and academic growth.”

The center’s initial goals will be to sponsor research, devise teaching strategies and practices, and help educators address gender issues within schools and communities, Mr. Murphy said.

“There are no real limitations on what the center can do,” added Christine Sanni, a spokeswoman for the graduate school. “It will draw from almost every academic aspect of the university. This means, for example, that the medical school might apply for gender research that involves the treatment of boys with [attention deficit disorder]. “

“Jane Fonda did make one thing very clear,” Ms. Sanni said. “She didn’t want the program to become a white, ivory-tower think tank. The program is, therefore, designed to influence actual practices and assist students.”

Chair Endowed

Ms. Fonda, who has worked on behalf of teenage-pregnancy-prevention efforts in Atlanta, initiated the project last spring when she spoke at the university about the challenges faced by young women in education and the widespread efforts made to give women equal access to education abroad.

She challenged Mr. Murphy to build a research base at the university and offered to underwrite the project. “I recognized the need to bring some of these lessons home,” Ms. Fonda said last week in a statement. “We still have a culture that teaches girls and boys a distorted view of what it takes to be women and men.”

Though Ms. Fonda had no formal affiliation with the university, she chose to donate money to the school in part because she was inspired by the work of the psychologist Carol Gilligan, a member of the graduate school faculty who has conducted extensive research on gender issues. Ms. Gilligan will help in the formation of the center.

To honor Ms. Gilligan’s work, $2.5 million will go toward the creation of an endowed faculty chair in her name and an administrative support staff, according to Mr. Murphy.

A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 2001 edition of Education Week as Fonda Gives Harvard Ed. School $12 Million

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding More Federal Aid Is Coming for Schools Struggling to Buy Food Due to Supply-Chain Crisis
The $1.5 billion USDA infusion is the second in several months to help schools purchase food amid shortages and price increases.
2 min read
Stacked Red Cafeteria trays in a nearly empty lunch room.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding School Districts Are Starting to Spend COVID Relief Funds. The Hard Part Is Deciding How
A new database shows districts' spending priorities for more than $122 billion in federal aid are all over the place.
8 min read
Educators delivering money.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding The Political Spotlight on Schools' COVID Relief Money Isn't Going Away
Politicians and researchers are among those scrutinizing the use and oversight of billions in pandemic education aid.
7 min read
Business man with brief case looking under a giant size bill (money).
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding Here's How Schools Can Use Federal COVID Aid to Solve Bus Driver and Other Transportation Woes
The Education Department outlines districts' options for using relief money to solve nationwide problems in getting kids to and from school.
2 min read
Students catch their bus near Ambridge Area Senior High School on the first day of Pennsylvania's mask mandate for K-12 schools and day care centers on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, in Ambridge, Pa.
Students catch their bus near Ambridge Area Senior High School in Ambridge, Pa., earlier this year on the first day of Pennsylvania's mask mandate for K-12 schools.
Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP