He’s Got Game

Educator and Philanthropist Charles Desmond has Taken his Cue From the Billiards Table

Being a teenage pool shark nearly ended Charles Desmond’s life. Yet Desmond — educator, entrepreneur, philanthropist and now TC Trustee — was inspired to complete college and help others do the same.

Growing up poor in a Boston suburb, Desmond never considered college until an older brother suggested he take the SAT. He scored well and enrolled at Boston University, but shot pool instead of study­ing. He left, got drafted, and after being abandoned for dead during the 1968 Tet Offensive, turned his pool hall work ethic to education: “I put in many hours and associated with the best players. And this is what scholars do.”

Trustee Charles Desmond

BANK SHOT Left for dead in Vietnam, Desmond turned his poo hall work ethic – long hours and associating with the best players – to education: ”This is what scholars do.”

Desmond returned with Silver and Bronze Stars, graduated and earned a doctorate in instructional leadership. He worked for 31 years in stu­dent affairs at the University of Massachu­setts-Boston, ran a college-prep program, chaired the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education and advised Governor Deval Pat­rick. Now he leads Inversant, a non-profit created by social entrepreneur Bob Hildreth that provides knowledge, resources, connections and financial incentives to empower low- and moderate-income families to in-vest and succeed in higher education. Under Desmond, Inversant enlists parents because “they’re vital to young people’s decision-making and success.”

Desmond, whose own daughter, Lindsey, is a TC doctoral student, believes the College shares his commitment to empowering under-served youth. He’s eager to assist: “My goal is to help in any small way.” — Will Bunch

 

Back to School

After serving under President Obama, Jay Urwitz Rejoins TC’s Board to Continue “Advancing Student Well-being”

Jay Urwitz had a pretty good excuse for leaving Teachers College’s Board of Trustees three years ago: John King (Ed.D. ’08), the new U.S. Secretary of Education under Presi­dent Barack Obama, was asking him to serve as deputy general counsel in the U.S. Department of Education.

“Because of his Teachers College back­ground, I knew that John couldn’t be more dedicated to figuring out what students and their families need,” says Urwitz, a nationally renowned education lawyer who is a New York City public school graduate.

Under King, Urwitz spearheaded the department’s accountability and compliance efforts. “We were extraordinarily effective in ensuring that educational institutions were do­ing their best to educate students,” Urwitz says. “And accreditors were doing their best to evalu­ate how those institutions were doing, too.”

Jay Urwitz

Jay Urwitz

Now Urwitz, who is also a Senior Fellow at both the Center for American Progress and the American Council on Education, is a TC Trust­ee once more. The College, he says, “stands above other education schools in advancing student well-being.”

“Focusing on the whole child and individu­alized learning; understanding the relationship between how the brain operates and how we teach and learn; and harnessing ed tech not as a cure-all but as a way to make judicious improve­ments — TC is doing it all, and more,” he says. “I’m very glad to be back.” — Robert Fuller

 

Rosie’s Recognition

E. John Rosenwald

E. John Rosenwald

E. John Rosenwald Jr., quiet phase co-chair of TC’s recent Campaign, has been named Trustee Emeritus. Rosenwald, Vice Chairman Emeritus of JPMorgan Chase, has raised an estimated $3 billion for good causes, including his own generous support for the Teachers College Community School. Among his famed “Rosie’s Rules”: “Nobody is insulted by being asked for too much.” Also: “The sale begins when the customer says no.”