Gustavus parents Karin and Robert Moe believe in the power of focused philanthropy. They direct much of their giving toward liberal arts education, where they feel that individuals and society will reap the greatest benefit from their efforts. Gustavus is fortunate to be among the institutions to receive their major support.
Recently, the Moes made a $1 million commitment to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning. This leadership gift brings the College closer to its goal to fully endow the center, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus. When fully funded, the Moes’ contribution will generate funds to support two main areas: faculty development and student-faculty research.
“We are honored by this generous gift,” said Gustavus President Jim Peterson. “This support will make a tremendous difference to the depth, breadth, and vitality of Gustavus learning and development for many years into the future.”
The Kendall Center’s mission is to assist faculty in two specific areas: disciplinary expertise and pedagogical proficiency. As academic fields continually develop and change, new ideas emerge, new texts surface, and new connections among theories are forged. The Kendall Center, named in honor of the beloved psychology professor and president of the college who died in 2002, administers funding for faculty to stay engaged, read and research, and share discoveries with other scholars. It sponsors faculty travel for research presentations and creative work. It makes internal grants for faculty-student research collaboration. It also provides support for faculty to develop new teaching methods and strategies that consider how students’ varying learning styles influence educational success. Working across disciplinary boundaries, faculty members learn from each other through the Kendall Center’s many teaching and learning workshops.
“We are grateful to the Moes for their continued support of Gustavus,” said Gustavus Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mary E. Morton. “Student-faculty research and faculty development are two key components of the College’s developing strategic plan and this endowment gift has energized our community to move forward in that aspect of the planning more quickly than we had anticipated. The generosity of the Moes will enable us to double the number of annual student and faculty awards provided through the Kendall Center. This will have a significant impact on our ability to strengthen and foster the work of generations of students and faculty.”
The Moes have made major gifts to several leading colleges and universities. In 1996, they launched Gustavus’s acclaimed Moe Lectures series, which brings internationally-known speakers to the College each year in service to students and also the wider regional community.
The robust, engaged, interactive, and interdisciplinary “Kendall” approach to learning resonates with the Moes, whose daughter, Kris, attended Gustavus during John Kendall’s tenure as Gustavus president. They know Gustavus to be a place where student-faculty work flourishes and relationships are warm and inspiring.
Robert and Karin feel that faculty who give so much to students need the opportunity to grow and develop themselves. “One of the great things about Gustavus is that it fosters strong faculty and student relationships. Those great individuals who make a difference in the lives of young people need the resources and time to develop their own work,” Karin said. “We support the Kendall Center because it is our opportunity to ensure this tradition remains strong.”
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