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School of Education Named
In Honor of Ray Neag
October 4, 1999

The School of Education has been renamed in honor of Ray Neag, making it one of just two named schools - with the Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture - on the Storrs campus.

The school recently received from Neag a record donation of $21 million - the largest donation in the University's history, the largest gift to a public university in New England and the largest gift ever given to a School of Education in the United States.

Neag, who graduated from UConn in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in political science, is executive vice president of Arrow Internationa l Inc., a medical supply company in Reading, Pa.

The gift will support the establishment of endowed chairs in literacy and in special education, with a focus on children's behavioral disorders. It also will fund faculty research, pay for a national search for outstanding graduate students, and provide increased financing for the school's program in gifted education and talent development and the five-year teacher education program.

"I'm absolutely convinced that I've done the right thing and I know you're going to use this money well," Neag said during the naming ceremony September 24.

Thanking Neag for his gift, President Philip E. Austin noted that U.S. News & World Report has named the UConn School of Education among the top 40 schools of education in the nation. "Ray's gift will help us enter the top 10," he said.

Austin said that of all the aspects of the University's land-grant mission, "none is more important or more long-lasting than the preparation of the men and women who teach in Connecticut schools."

Richard Schwab, dean of the Neag School of Education, said Neag believes in the American Dream and the part that educators play in making that dream a reality. "This incredible gift has prompted a celebration of what makes this country great," he said.

The daylong celebration featured three events: a panel on The National Media and Education; the naming ceremony, with Jonathan Kozol as keynote speaker; and a panel of faculty members speaking on "Children Placed at Risk." The ceremony was attended by about 800 faculty, staff, students, educators from throughout the state, and members of the Neag family.