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Oak Leaves

September 20, 2019


Ed Department 2

The Manchester education department is renamed Harry H. Henney ‘35 and Jeanette Henney Department of Education.

Photo Provided by Manchester University Facebook

Education Department Receives $1 Million Endowment, Name Change


Mackenzie Kopplin

 

Manchester University’s Department of Education took a huge leap forward when it received an endowment and name change on Friday, Sept. 6. The endowment of $1 million, which will generate $40–50,000 per year, came from the family of Harry and Jeanette Henney and will progressively contribute to the future success of the department, now known as the Harry H. Henney ’35 & Jeanette Henney Department of Education, and the university as a whole.

Dr. Heather Schilling, chair of the Department of Education and director of Teacher Education, has high hopes for the ongoing success of the department. “What we hope to do is to figure out how we use this donation to make the mission statement in our program come alive,” she said. “This will allow us to make that dream a reality.”  The education department’s mission statement is “Shaping tomorrow’s teachers today.”

“I just want to empower students so that when they leave Manchester, if a student really believes in the mission statement the way that we, as a department, do, then he or she is empowered to provide change,” Schilling continued.  Travel was one point that Schilling wants the endowment to help blossom. “One of the things we’ve worked on is around the three pillars: vision, voice, vocation,” she said. “What we would like to do is to give our students more intentional field experience, so more travel.

For example, taking the students to schools that we see as exemplary models of how we want you to teach. Our focus is going to be on helping our graduates find their voice so that they can bring change to their communities. We believe that we can bring change through education in a variety of ways.”

Along with this she would also like this money to develop a research program. “We also now have funds for research if we would like to give stipends or research funds,” Schilling said. “One of the things we need to talk about because being a part of a school is important information for us, by that I mean seeing what is currently happening in a school. As professors we have been out of schools anywhere from 5–10 years. So, we have talked about offering a fellowship to a current classroom teacher.”

She goes on to say that this person would not necessarily be a professor but an asset to the department. How will students benefit from this endowment? “Our idea is that in the first-year students will set some benchmarks for themselves,” Schilling said. “And in the year two and three they would find their voice. This ranges from leading protests, like I would love to do, to working with small groups of people to bring about change. In the fourth year they would find their vocation, what they are called to do. Through all of that then we want to put this thread that education is their human and civil rights."

Another big change that Schilling wants to bring to the education department is a research portion for students. “We want to put students into cohorts,” she said. “Not just first-years all together, but all students as learning communities. Over your four years you would investigate a big question like ethics in education or whether there can be quality in education. So big research questions to promote inquiry-based learning. If you come to our program, we are trying to help you become a revolutionary. You are joining the cause.”

This cause is something that Schilling fights for constantly. She is always in the mood to talk change and reformation. She has big ideas for the future of the education program and these multiple of these progressions are already set in motion or on the table for discussion. Schilling was very grateful for this significant donation and expressed her gratitude in every way possible.