Thursday, Apr. 24, 2008
USU renames its highly ranked college: Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services
Utah State University celebrated two significant gifts April 23 and announced at the same time that it will rename it prestigious college of education the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services.
The $25 million gift from the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation, announced in December 2007, will support design and construction of a new building and five endowed faculty chairs in early childhood education. An additional $1 million gift announced Wednesday from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation will support a new Center for Early Care and Education named for Dolores Doré Eccles.
Carol Strong, dean of the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, said the gifts will allow the already highly ranked college to affirm even further its status as one the nation’s leaders in early childhood education, research and service.
“The synergy created by these generous gifts will serve as a powerful catalyst, helping to transform early childhood education not only regionally and nationally but internationally,” she said.
The new building will house all of the college’s important programs and research in early childhood education, including the Emma Eccles Jones Center for Early Childhood Education and its endowed chair, Ray Reutzel. It will also be home to the Sound Beginnings Preschool, a one-of-a-kind program in the Intermountain West where children with cochlear implants or digital hearing aids can learn spoken language.
Also under the same roof, the Dolores Doré Eccles Center for Early Care and Education will provide much-needed child-care facilities for infants and young children whose parents are USU students, staff or faculty. In addition, the facility will offer early childhood education, student and parent training, a model research environment and endless opportunities for USU undergraduate and graduate students to observe, tutor and experience hands-on learning internships.
“These will be the critical training grounds for students who will become our nation’s best teachers, deaf educators, speech-language pathologists and audiologists,” Strong said. “These gifts have far-reaching potential — they aim to create a bright future for our children and grandchildren, and theirs as well.”
Spencer F. Eccles, chairman of the board and CEO for the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, said the celebration was a reminder of commitment to education by Emma Eccles Jones and Dolores Doré Eccles, who were sisters-in-law.
“This is a great day to celebrate and honor the contributions of two incredible women,” Eccles said. “Both were strong and spirited women who shared a firm belief in the value of education. They would be pleased to know what they have contributed to, and I believe that here at USU in the College of Education, the best is yet to come.”
Clark Giles, chair of the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation, echoed those thoughts.
“We are pleased to provide this gift to further enhance the early childhood education program at USU, and we are honored they are naming the college after Emma,” Giles said. “Aunt Em focused her career on providing training and education for teachers of early childhood education, and the new center at USU will be a great benefit to the university, the state and the nation.”
The Very Reverend Frederick Q. Lawson, trustee of the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation, told a packed Sunburst Lounge in USU’s Taggart Student Center that Emma Eccles Jones, Logan’s first kindergarten teacher, was a model teacher with a progressive spirit that is reflected today in USU’s College of Education and Human Services.
“She was a dedicated teacher and a loyal friend to the teaching profession,” Lawson said. “She serves as a model for this wonderful school of education, and we are privileged to know that every teacher who graduates from this program will carry on that great tradition.”
USU President Stan L. Albrecht said Emma Eccles Jones touched the lives of many children when she was a teacher herself, and the college, named after her, will extend that touch to countless generations of young children.
“These gifts are a reflection of the great confidence these foundations have in us,” Albrecht said. “We are humbled by that confidence, but we enthusiastically embrace this great challenge.”
Writer: Tim Vitale, firstname.lastname@example.org