University of Rochester

The Warner School Marks 10 Years with New Name, Sharper Vision

October 24, 2003

The Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development is now marking the tenth year of its naming, and on this anniversary is recognizing the growth and achievements made possible through the dedicated efforts of Warner faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends.

The School was named 10 years ago to honor a multi-million dollar gift in memory of alumna and trustee Margaret Warner Scandling. The gift enabled the School to advance its efforts in teaching and research, and to promote education reform.

William Scandling's gift to honor his wife allowed the School to hire more faculty, offer more student scholarships and advance student programs, create more partnerships with urban and suburban school districts, and invest in student and faculty research that, in turn, has attracted federal and state grants. "Without Mr. Scandling's vision and foresight, as well as that of other generous friends of Warner, we would never have accomplished all that we've achieved so far," said Raffaella Borasi, dean of the Warner School.

Since the School renaming in October 1993, unique and successful programs have been developed for preschool, mathematics reform, inclusion, science education, and literacy. The Warner Center for Professional Development and Education Reform was created to give teachers the opportunity to collaborate with other community partners on classroom practices and reform models. Technology has been integrated into the teacher-training curriculum and administrative systems have been improved.

"This is the result of one family's deep faith in this School and the School's ability . . . to nurture the next generation of teachers," said Thomas H. Jackson, University president, at an Oct. 9 reception celebrating the tenth anniversary. Calling the Scandling gift "truly transformational" for the school and its future, Jackson pointed out that part of the Warner School's mission is "to help us understand our own educational goals and the roles of all the schools at the University of Rochester."

Michael Scandling spoke at the event about his mother's belief in the value of education and the self-sufficiency it produced--whether for the larger community or for her own son. In videotaped comments, William Scandling expressed support for the leadership of the Warner School and the accomplishments achieved in these 10 years.

First established as the College of Education in 1958, the Warner School offers a broad spectrum of programs for those seeking master's and doctoral degrees in the areas of teaching and curriculum, educational leadership, and counseling and human development. Faculty and students are involved in research, project development, and scholarship on a wide range of educational issues. As a professional school within a national research university, the school blends theory and practice to produce innovations.

Mrs. Scandling, who died in 1990, was a Rochester native and member of the University of Rochester's Class of 1944. She came from a family deeply committed to education. Her aunt, Frederica Warner, graduated from the University in 1909 and later taught high school English. Mrs. Scandling supported a wide spectrum of youth-oriented charities and educational foundations, including one that funded special projects that teachers in primary and secondary schools wished to undertake for their students.

During her years on the Trustees' Council of the College and the University Board of Trustees, she learned a great deal about the work of the graduate school of education and shared with her family the belief that the school had a unique and vital mission among education schools.

Before her death, she and her husband made several generous gifts to the School, among them an endowment that would create a professorship in the name of Mrs. Scandling's aunt, and gifts to establish student scholarships.