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Gift from Dorothy Goodwin to support museum education

by Jennifer Huber - March 17, 2008

Former State Rep. Dorothy C. Goodwin, a retired professor of agricultural economics, bequeathed more than $140,000 to the University of Connecticut, her alma mater. She died last June at the age of 92.

The gift, which is unrestricted, will be used to establish the Dorothy C. Goodwin Fund for Teacher Preparation, according to the University of Connecticut Foundation.

During her lifetime, Goodwin generously supported the University and the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The fund will support museum programs aimed at improving teacher quality that are consistent with the principles of Teachers for a New Era, an initiative sponsored by the Carnegie Corp. of New York.

“Both Teachers for a New Era and the museum directly serve the needs of UConn students and the youth of the state of Connecticut,” says Douglas Hamilton, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a member of the Teachers for a New Era Leadership Committee.

“With this new endowment, both programs will have a second layer of impact, because they enhance the training and knowledge of the next generation of Connecticut’s teachers.”

The Connecticut State Museum of Natural History and the Neag School of Education will collaborate on programs that expand hands-on training for students.

“The new museum experiences will help on many different levels to make the curriculum align more meaningfully with the real-world classroom and informal science settings that these teachers will eventually find themselves in,” says Leanne Harty, museum director.

The new fund adds to a pair of endowments Goodwin set up at UConn during her lifetime: the Dorothy Goodwin Teaching Innovation Fund and the Professor Dorothy C. Goodwin Teaching Institute Endowment Fund.

The endowments reflect Goodwin’s lifelong commitment to public service and education.

Dorothy Goodwin in 1988, with University President John Casteen.
Dorothy Goodwin in 1988, with University President John Casteen.
Photo from University Archives

Goodwin was born in Hartford in 1914.

After graduating from Smith College in 1937, she was stationed in the U.S. and abroad, working for various federal agencies, including the Department of Economic Warfare and the U.S. Foreign Agriculture Organization.

After returning to Connecticut, she earned the first doctorate awarded in agricultural economics at UConn in 1957.

She worked at UConn for 22 years as a professor and assistant provost, and published widely on economics and state aid for education. She retired in 1965.

In 1974, Goodwin won a seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives. She served five terms and was co-chair of the Education Committee.

After retiring from the General Assembly in 1984, Goodwin was appointed by the governor to the state Board of Education, where she remained until 1990.

UConn awarded Goodwin an honorary Doctor of Law degree in 1988.

“Dorothy Goodwin had a deep commitment to education,” says Hamilton.

“The Teachers for a New Era program that partners the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with the Neag School of Education to strengthen K-12 teacher preparation is certainly a fitting way of honoring her lifelong engagement with educational issues.”

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