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Illuminating TC's Future

An extraordinary gift from Laurie M. Tisch will help ensure the College's continuing leadership in the 21st century
An extraordinary gift from Laurie M. Tisch will help ensure the College’s continuing leadership in the 21st century

In her quest to make New York City a better place for all, Laurie M. Tisch has supported Teachers College as a critical agent of positive change, inspiring the College to fulfill its ideals and dreams.

The annual Tisch Lectureship, initiated in 1999, has featured visiting scholars whose work has enhanced important TC initiatives, from documenting the returns on investing in adequate school funding to improving mathematics education for very young children. TC’s Office of School and Community Partnerships, established in 2007 with a generous gift from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, has attracted major support from leadership donors and foundations, leading to the creation of the TC Partnership Schools Network in Harlem and the Teachers College Community School.

Now Tisch has made another inspirational gift, of $10 million, that in two very different ways positions TC for continued leadership in the 21st century and beyond. Half of the gift, made outright, seeds TC’s new capital initiatives and establishes the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy at Teachers College. The Laurie M. Tisch Center will serve as a key component of the Illumination Fund’s dynamic new Healthy Food and Community Change initiative. TC founded the field of nutrition education over a century ago and continues to set the standard with research that creates evidence-based programs to educate parents, teachers, community members and the public on how to change behavior around health and nutrition. The center is the nation’s first to combine research capacity and a track record of effective education initiatives with policy development and implementation, an area in which TC’s leadership is unchallenged. It will create effective public policy proposals at the city, state and national levels while improving food access and providing food-related education in communities in order to increase opportunities for making healthy food choices.

"Laurie Tisch's passionate commitment to eliminate health disparities in New York City is reflected in her philanthropic strategy to invest in innovative programs that empower communities with healthier food choices," says TC President Susan Fuhrman. "We are honored that she has made TC a key partner in her Healthy Food and Community Change initiative, and we are enormously grateful for her inspiring gift to establish the Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy at Teachers College."

The other half of Tisch’s gift constitutes a rousing call to action to TC's Board to reestablish the College’s physical infrastructure, including technology. As Tisch understands, for TC’s faculty and students to make the greatest impact, they must work in a state-of-the-art environment with high-tech tools and spaces. And for students to
be truly top-drawer, they must become fluent in the technologies they are researching and creating.

An illuminating gift indeed.

Published Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013