John Dewey Circle Dinner Celebrates Leadership Donors
Published in TC Today - Volume 24, No. 1
Members of the John Dewey Circle, those who have contributed $1,000 or
more to the TC Fund, were honored at the fourth annual John Dewey
Circle Dinner. More than 140 members attended the event, at which Enid
W. Morse, Co-Chair of the Teachers College Trustees, was recognized
with the John Dewey Leadership Award.
John Dewey Scholars
receive financial assistance from the general scholarship fund, which
is made up in part by gifts to the TC Fund. The scholars are named in
honor of those members of the John Dewey Circle who contribute more
than $10,000 to the TC Fund. They were invited to the dinner to meet
their benefactors. More than a dozen Dewey Scholars were at Casa
Italiana to share their joy with the growing membership of the John
Mary Le Donne, a doctoral student in Educational
Psychology, is a Tess Magsaysay and Ken Boxley Dewey Scholar. She is
studying the efficacy of resource programs available for parents to
enhance their understanding of their child's mathematical abilities.
She is an example of the remarkable breadth of accomplishment of the
individual Dewey Scholars.
Joseph Brosnan, Vice President for
Development and External Affairs, welcomed the audience and explained
why the event is special. "It is a way of letting our donors know how
important they are and how much we appreciate them," he said, adding.
"The scholars also have an opportunity to know the individual who is
enabling them to continue their scholarly work and to share their
aspirations with them. It's a wonderfully exciting occasion for
Antonia Grumbach, who shares duties with Enid W.
Morse as Co-Chair of the TC Trustees, thanked the members of the John
Dewey Circle on the Board's behalf. She looked back to the first John
Dewey Circle Dinner, remarking, "Both Dinny (Enid W. Morse) and I
remember the first Dewey Circle Dinner where we could practically count
all the people on one hand. We've come a long way."
Nicholson, National Chair of the TC Fund, was also on hand to put into
perspective the importance of the TC Fund, which passed the $1 million
mark for the first time. She said the ever-growing Fund will have an
enormous impact on the College's future. The $1.1 million raised in
1997-98 "means that President Levine will be able to support existing
programs and generate new programs and research as if he had the use of
the return on a $20 million endowment," she said.
For the past
two years, Nicholson has also chaired the Dewey Circle Network, which
consists of volunteers who solicit Dewey Circle gifts from fellow alums
and act as "ambassadors" for the College. This form of solicitation has
been very successful at increasing Dewey Circle membership.
introducing Dawn Marie Gavin, the evening's student speaker, Nicholson
looked out at her audience and said, "I look forward to your continued
support of the College and to your generous response when we again call
upon you to renew, upgrade or volunteer your wisdom, time, and energy
to reaching this year's achievable goal of $1.25 million."
Marie Gavin, is a Dewey Scholar, a doctoral student in Special
Education and a New York City public school teacher of students with
mental retardation. She charmed the audience with anecdotes of how TC's
faculty is providing her with the skills to recognize the potential of
her students. She added that the opportunity to be a Dewey Scholar has
permitted her to pursue her career and dreams. "I now know that I can
make more of a difference in the lives of the children I teach."
Arthur Levine, who held up Gavin as "the best testimony of why gifts
from the members of the Dewey Circle count," used the opportunity to
mention how Dewey Circle gifts were being put to work. He spoke of the
contributions of Angela Calabrese Barton, Assistant Professor of
Science Education, in her effort to provide "science time" for homeless
children as well as that of Lucy McCormick Calkins, Professor of
English Education, whose work in more than 600 schools has helped
redirect educational practice and policy in the teaching of reading and
The surprise of the evening occurred when President
Levine called on Enid W. Morse to accept the John Dewey Leadership
Award. Levine, reading the citation said, "your membership in the Dewey
Circle has enabled three students at Teachers College to be named Morse
Scholars. Through your generous support of the Annual Fund, these
students are able to concentrate more intently on their quest to become
Morse, obviously taken by the honor, said,
"I am at a loss for words. I feel fortunate to be involved with
Teachers College and its vision to improve education. Teachers College
is a special place and I am grateful to play a role in its future."previous page