“The leverage point to make a difference is through education. My heroes are no longer great athletes or even great politicians, but education leaders.”
It is fitting that the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education was christened at the dawn of the 21st century. Though the School of Education has been a graduate level program since 1967, it was the generous gift of Ambassador Don Gevirtz and Marilyn Gevirtz that has shaped its future. As the Gevirtz School moves forward, their ideals will never be forgotten.
Ambassador Gevirtz held a passion for improving public education saying, “One of our principal objectives is to see this graduate school produce the very best teachers who can also provide strong leadership in public education.” Fulfilling his vision, the Gevirtz School has been consistently ranked in the top 50 graduate schools by U.S. News and World Report.
Friends and family remember that Don would always lead a conversation with a question. He always started with what he did not know. That, he believed, is where growth occurred, and that is where he wanted to be. Don’s passion for research led him to first support the Gevirtz Research Center in 1996. Ambassador Gevirtz would be proud of the research and scholarship that is conducted every day at the Gevirtz Graduate School.
Although Ambassador Gevirtz passed away suddenly just six months after formalizing the generous gift, his words are still with us. He and Marilyn Gevirtz hoped their gift would “fuel the discovery of new knowledge to ensure that, when children come to school, they will see themselves as learners, who find joy in the challenge of education.”
As an ambassador to Fiji in the 1990s, Don Gevirtz bridged cultural gaps with leadership. As an investment entrepreneur, he harnessed a spirit of innovation and independence. The Gevirtz Graduate School of Education is proud to bear his name, and will help bridge the equality gap of education with leadership, innovation, and independence. One of his favorite sayings was, “People always plan too much, and think too little.” The Gevirtz School instills a sense of independence and leadership in its students, because as Ambassador Gevirtz said, “Human resources are an organization’s most important aspect.”
Although Ambassador Gevirtz is no longer with us, his vision will live on through the Gevirtz School of Education. Fortunately for the school not only do his ideals remain with us, but Marilyn Gevirtz also remains deeply involved, lending her wisdom to the Dean’s Council.