MU dedicates Henney Department of Education

Dr. Robert Graham and Dr. Jane Henney have named the Harry H. Henney ’35 and Jeanette Henney Department of
Education in honor of Jane’s parents (pictured on previous page).

Manchester celebrated “a game changer” Sept. 6 when it dedicated the Harry H. Henney ’35 and Jeanette Henney Department of Education.

The named department is a gift from Dr. Jane Henney ’69 and her spouse Dr. Robert Graham, whose generosity also has named the Emerson and Evelyn Niswander Department of Biology.

The gift “is a game changer,” according to Professor Heather Schilling ’90, education department chair and director of the Teacher Education Program. With this gift, Dr. Henney “is exponentially increasing the impact of our program,” said Schilling. “Her vision and belief in the work we do empowers education majors, and her gift allows our program to consider opportunities we could not previously afford.” The support will be used for research, off-campus study, and exploration of ethics, social justice and civil rights in education, among other things.

Jane Henney’s father, Harry Henney, was a lifelong educator, primarily at Woodburn and later at Woodlan High School in Woodburn, Ind. Her mother, Jeanette Henney, was a professional secretary who worked many years in the East Allen County Schools. Jeanette dreamed of becoming a teacher, but the Great Depression left her family without the resources to send her to college.

“When it became clear that college was not in the cards for her, she redirected her dream to her children,” Jane Henney said of her mother. “None of us had any doubt that she would do anything possible to see that we had that opportunity.”

When Jane Henney was accepted into medical school, but lacked the means to pay for it, “it was Mom who emptied her funds, saved for a rainy day, and told me she would see that I was able to go.”

Dr. Henney later reimbursed her mother, but said, “In many ways, no amount will ever be sufficient to repay what both my mom and dad provided: a strong set of values, a work ethic, a desire to serve and a commitment to the community.”

She added that the endowment for the Henney Department of Education will “honor my parents’ deep commitment to educating those who are called to the noble profession of teaching.”