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A $16.25 million grant to Penn’s Graduate School of Education will create a new center for leadership in education and expand support for an existing annual prize to education innovators, the University announced in November. The gift—GSE’s largest ever—is from the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation, named for the former chairman and CEO of McGraw-Hill and focused on education, youth services, community health, and medical research.

The gift includes $10 million for a new McGraw Center for Educational Leadership, scheduled to launch in fall 2023, which will provide programs fostering an entrepreneurial approach to challenges in education for doctoral students, mid-career leaders in schools and higher education, and corporate chief learning officers. The remaining $6.25 million will further support the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. Housed within Penn GSE since 2020, it provides three $50,000 awards annually for transformational work in preK–12 education, higher education, and learning science research. Past recipients include Sal Khan and Wendy Kopp, founders of Khan Academy and Teach for America, respectively.

“With the launch of the McGraw Center, those dedicated to teaching and learning will be able to devise more effective responses to the rapidly changing needs of learners today,” said Penn President Liz Magill in the announcement. “We are deeply grateful to the McGraw family for their exceptional generosity.”

“More and more, society needs educators who are well prepared to respond to the accelerated rate of change in the educational landscape, to turn challenges into opportunities, and to develop pioneering solutions to complex problems,” added GSE Dean Pam Grossman. “Building on Penn GSE’s outstanding legacy of preparing leaders in preK–12, higher education, and workplace learning, the new center will champion innovation across thought and practice.”

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