The Proof is In the Giving: In TC's Campaign, Students Come First | Teachers College Columbia University

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The Proof is In the Giving: In TC's Campaign, Students Come First

Alumni, faculty and friends are supporting TC's students as never before through new and existing scholarships and fellowships.

Alumni, faculty and friends are supporting TC’s students as never before through new and existing scholarships and fellowships.

One way or another, Edmund Adjapong was bound to earn his master’s degree in science education. Accepted by every graduate school he applied to, Adjapong says TC, which boasted an urban science education program led by his longtime mentor and former high school science teacher, Christopher Emdin, “was everything I wanted – but it would have been a financial struggle.”

Enter Tim Greeman, a former New York City teacher whose father, Peter had been an early supporter of training urban educators. Last year, as the College was launching its $300 million campaign, the younger Greeman created the Peter Greeman Scholarships to support qualified students who commit to teach in low-income, high-needs schools for at least two years. Edmund Adjapong, who graduated in the spring, was TC’s first Peter Greeman Scholar.

“When you train and put an effective teacher in the classroom, you help their students year after year,” Tim Greeman says.

TC’s campaign, Where the Future Comes First builds on the College’s history of charting new directions in education, health, psychology and leadership, while it renews that legacy for the 21st century.  That’s why the campaign’s number-one funding priority is to increase financial support for the College’s talented and promising students.

It’s a message that resonates strongly with TC supporters. As of August 31, scholarship giving for fiscal year 2014 stood at $12.4 million, a 35 percent jump over last year’s final total of $9.2 million. Increasing the power of giving, friends and benefactors are establishing new scholarships and contributing to existing endowments in all 10 of the college’s departments to support students in programs in teaching, psychology, health, policy and more

“There are a lot of great graduate institutions of education out there that can make very attractive financial offers, but students come to TC because they want to acquire the knowledge and skills that will help them change the world,” says Thomas Rock (Ed.D ’02), Associate Dean for Enrollment Services. “Scholarships ensure that financial need and the prospect of debt won’t prevent them from doing so.” TC students primarily enter public service fields that are not generally high-paying. As a result, their student loan debt repayment burden can be crushing. “So this increase in giving is really important,” Rock says. “It’s going to help us recruit students; it’s going to help us retain students; it’s going to help us compete with other institutions for top students.”

TC’s successful scholarship drive builds on major gifts from the some of the College’s staunchest supporters: an $11 million commitment last year from Trustee Emerita Abby O’Neill to establish the O’Neill Fellowship Program, which provides $35,000 to students earning dual certification in areas of great need for New York City schools, such as science/inclusive education, elementary education/bilingual, or TESOL; and a $500,000 pledge this spring from Trustee and alumna Pat Green. 

But just as important have been a host of gifts from other generous alumni and friends – people such as Lida Orzeck (PhD ’72), co-founder and CEO of the trend-setting lingerie business Hanky Panky and a regular TC supporter over the years.  “Education is my number-one philanthropic priority,” says Orzeck, who recently endowed the Lida A. Orzeck Scholarship for doctoral students in the social and organizational psychology programs. “The best and brightest come through Teacher’s College. It’s an institution of very high standards. The people who come here have a passion for education, and they certainly shouldn’t be hampered by inadequate access to funding.” 

Scholarship donor Celia Genishi, who retired from TC in 2013 as Professor of Early Childhood Education, couldn’t agree more.

“My devoted parents came from generations of farmers, and they couldn’t afford to send my sister and me to college,” says Genishi, who created a scholarship fund more than a decade ago in her family’s name. “Yet through scholarship support we were both able to attend Barnard, and I also received aid while I was earning my master’s degree at Harvard and my doctorate at Berkeley. So I thought that supporting students at TC would be a nice way to pay it forward.

“I’d love to see more faculty members at TC consider creating scholarships,” Genishi adds. “I’m not a rich person, so the way we did it was basically through the installment plan – we contributed every year until we reached the level needed to create an endowed fund. I add to it now annually, since it is important to me to keep supporting students.”

Sometimes, Genishi says, people tell her they can’t understand why she would give money back to her employer. “I don’t think of it that way,” she says. “I tell them I’m giving support to students at a school that, like most top institutions, has high tuition.”

The fund created by Genishi has supported a succession of students in early childhood education. The most recent, Karina Malik (M.A. ’14) will teach this fall at P.S. 75 on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

“I had the pleasure of escorting Karina across the stage at graduation,” says Genishi, who was representing all those who have created endowed funds. “It’s so wonderful to see someone you’ve helped going on to realize her dream.”

Tim Greeman has similar hopes for his scholarship: “The great thing would be that, at some point, we have a bunch of smart TC applicants to choose from, and one of them writes in the application essay, ‘My high-school teacher was a Peter Greeman Scholar, and I want to be one too.’” 

Where the Future Comes First: The Campaign for Teachers College sets support for students as the top funding-raising priority, with a goal of $124 million. Since September 2013, 22 new scholarship funds have been created across all departments —18 of those are new endowed scholarships. 

New Scholarships
125th Anniversary Scholars
The Atkins Rosen Scholarship Fund, Counseling and Clinical Psychology
The Barnett Family Scholarship Fund, Arts Administration
James and Landis Best Scholarship Fund, Education Leadership
Eileen Cutler Scholarship Fund, General Support
Endowed Scholarship in the English Education Program
A.M. Gentile Scholarship Fund in Motor Learning, Human Development
Patricia Green Endowed Scholarship Fund, General Support
Ruth L. Gottesman Math & Science Education Scholarship Fund
Mariam & Shervin Korangy Endowed Scholarship, Movement Science and Neuroscience
Dr. Elizabeth Phelan and Dr. Francis Xavier Lawlor Endowed Scholarship Fund in Honor of Professor Mary Budd Rowe, Science Education
Barbara Jean Lewis Early Childhood Education Scholarship
LGBTQ Diversity Scholarship Fund
C.Y. Li Scholarship Fund, for a student from China
Nanzhu Endowed Scholarships for Masters or Doctoral Students, Educational Leadership
National Center for Children & Families, pre-doctoral fellows/EPSA
Franklin W. and D. Joan Neff Endowed Scholarship Fund, for doctoral students in Organization and Leadership
Lida A. Orzeck Scholarship Fund, Social-Organizational Psychology
Ruth Treiber Rauch Endowed Scholarship Fund, for students preparing to teach in high-needs public schools
Carole L. Sleeper Endowed Scholarship, General Support
Emanuel and Barbra Streisand Scholarship Fund, General Support
The Kuo Ping Wen Scholarship Fund, for international students from China
The Kenneth and Anna Zankel Scholarship Fund, Art Administration/Art Education

Additional Gifts Made to Existing Scholarship Funds Since September 1, 2013
Judith Berman Brandenburg Scholarship, Psychology
Amity Pierce Buxton Endowed Scholarship, for students pursuing a teaching career in an urban environment
Susan A. & Robert S. Diamond Endowed Scholarship, general support
Cleveland Dodge Fellows, doctoral students working with ‘MatheMantics’ math software for grades K-3
Morton Deutsch Scholarship Fund, Social and Organizational Psychology
John F. Fanselow Scholarship Fund, TESOL
Julie Louise Franck Fellowship Fund, post-doctoral student studying disabilities
Genishi Family Scholarship, Early Childhood Education
Miriam L. Goldberg Fund, Cognitive Studies
Irwin Goldstein Scholarship Fund, Special Education
Peter Greeman Scholarship of the Community Teachers Initiative Inc., for students who wish to teach in urban settings
Maxine Greene Scholarship in Philosophy and Education
Charlotte M. Hamill Scholarship, Reading and Disabilities program
The Heinrich Scholarship, Nursing or Health Education
Leland B. Jacobs Scholarship, Curriculum and Teaching
Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Peace Corps Fellows
Kasser Emotional Growth Fellowship
Klingenstein Center Scholars Fund
The Lemann Fellowship Fund, for master’s students from Brazil
Lindamood Family Endowed Scholarship, general support
Edward Mysak Memorial Endowed Fund, Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology
Neukom Family Endowed Scholarship Fund, Curriculum and Teaching
Nutritional Ecology Scholarship Fund
Oceanic Heritage Foundation Doctoral Fellowship
Abby M. O’Neill Fellowship Program, for students undertaking dual certification who will work in NYC high needs schools
Anna Neumann Supporting Student Research Award, Higher and Postsecondary Education
A. Harry and Shirley S. Passow Scholarship, for doctoral students in Curriculum and Teaching
Riady Scholars Fund, for students from Southeast Asia, with focus on Indonesia
Edith Shih Endowed Scholarship Fund, for a master’s or doctoral student from Asia
Lynn P. Tishman PhD Scholarship Fund, Clinical Psychology
Toepfer Family Scholarship Fund, for international students from Egypt or Afghanistan
Albert S. and Ruby Thompson Scholarship Fund, Music Education or Counseling Psychology
TC Annual Fund Scholars, support across various departments/programs
Carol Neilson Wilder Memorial Scholarship, for doctoral students studying voice disorders
Zankel Urban Fellows Program

Published Monday, Sep. 8, 2014