The beginning of the year provides each of us the opportunity to reflect on our lives and create goals for the coming year.  A perpetual list maker, my goals are always subdivided into categories such as physical fitness, health, financial, and philanthropy.  Inevitably, the personal goals are the easiest to determine.  As I look to the philanthropy, however, my decision becomes more difficult.

With so many worthwhile avenues, it can be easy to overlook the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education when contemplating giving.  I have had the opportunity to spend the last several months learning about the Rainbolt College, and I am increasingly in awe of all that has been achieved with the generosity of our donors.  In 2010, the College achieved the following:

·         The completion of the renovation and expansion of Collings Hall, which has added over 17,000 square feet of student and faculty space, including new classroomsand state-of-the-art equipment that supports learning, encourages collaboration, and fosters ingenuity for the teachers of tomorrow.

·         Increased scholarship funds; 10% increased dollar distribution from 2009, with the average student recipient receiving over $1,000 in assistance.

·         Expansion of the Puebla, Mexico, immersion and graduate certification program that allows students to become “global educators” through language mastery and a thorough understanding of the culture to further aid students from different nationalities in succeeding in the classroom.

·         The addition of scholarships for current teachers to attend the study abroad programs to increase the effectiveness of ESL programs.

·         A new location for the Counseling Psychology Clinic that includes therapy rooms, classrooms, and state-of-the-art teaching technology.

·         The expansion of graduate scholarships specific to Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, and Educational Psychology.

Without the dedication of our education focused supporters, these accomplishments would have been insurmountable.  The common thread between all of these goals and accomplishments has been the idea of helping individuals and improving the stature of the College.  This idea of helping others is the calling of educators.

John Bunyon once said, “you have not lived todayuntil you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

As you reflect on your college years, what helped you get through?  Was it financial aid, scholarships, or a graduate assistantship?  Did you have a professor who taught you not only the ins and outs of the classroom, but how to maneuver life?  Were you drawn to the University of Oklahoma due to the cutting edge technology that the College provided?  When you think back on those years now, is it hard to ward off a smile?

In this time of economic strife, when education is continually catapulted into the political forefront, what legacy are you leaving?  To claim gifts to the College as important is an understatement.  Gifts to scholarship funds, memorial funds, study abroad programs, general operations and more are essential to the very fiber of the University.   In fact, many education students rely on scholarships and financial support to pay for their education.

It is not just the large gifts that are important.  Your gift of $50 or $100 could be the difference between famine and fortune for a student.  Bigger still, if each alumni and friend was able to part with just that small amount, it would make an enormous impact on the College as a whole.

As you plan for 2011, I hope you will consider supporting the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.  For information concerning giving opportunities, please contact me at (405) 325-1266.  I would love the opportunity to show you around our beautiful new building, or sit down with you and hear your comments and visions for the future.  In the meantime, please accept my whole-hearted appreciation for all that you do for the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education.


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