2011 TC Pressroom
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College Columbia University

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Joyce B. Cowin: 'If you get a quality education, you will have confidence when you meet a challenge.'

Joyce B. Cowin, TC alumna, TC Trustee since 1980 and Chair of the Heritage School Advisory Board, discussed the $3 million gift that she and her mother, Mrs. Sylvia Berger, gave to Teachers College for the construction of the student residence hall and conference center.

"I wanted to create a place where educators could meet that was commensurate with the importance of Teachers College," she said. "If you get a quality education, you will have confidence when you meet a challenge."

Mrs. Cowin, who is the TC Trustees' liaison to the Alumni Council, said that her love of education began when she entered college and realized the doors it opens to anyone who puts forth an effort.

With a passion for learning and teaching, she went on to receive her M.A. in Curriculum and Teaching at TC. It is this zeal for education and the desire to do something lasting for TC that inspired her to give her generous gift. This is just one of the ways she has shown her support for education from elementary schools to universities.

As Chair of the Heritage School Advisory Board, she provided start-up funding to cover advanced technology and special projects related to the arts curriculum. She continues to support the public high school in East Harlem with funding, numerous visits, and her educational expertise.

"I want the students of the Heritage School to feel like a unit and know that someone cares for them." She speaks excitedly of the parties that she has thrown for the students. At various times throughout the year, each student receives a wrapped gift, and for many it is the only gift he or she has ever received.

She was taken by the idea of the Heritage School because of its affiliation with museums and field trips to cultural places. "The school has been such a rewarding experience."

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