The Rosemary and Walter Blankley Endowed Chair in Education
Walter and Rosemary Deniken Blankley ’57, ’06H donated $1 million to create the Rosemary and Walter Blankley Endowed Chair in Education. The chair recognizes the importance of education, as evidenced by the Blankleys’ commitment to supporting education throughout their lives and while Rosemary was a student at Beaver College.
This is the first donor designated endowed chair in the University's history. Dr. Ellen Skilton, professor of education, was appointed The Rosemary and Walter Blankley Endowed Chair in Education during an investiture ceremony on March 6, 2014.
Photo from left to right: Former Arcadia University President Nicolette DeVille Christensen, Walter Blankley, Rosemary Deniken Blankley ’57, ’06H, Dr. Ellen Skilton, Former Board Chair Chris van de Velde
Dr. Marc Brasof, associate professor of Education and director of Secondary Education Social Studies and English certification programs. His work will help to ensure that the secondary education program is set up to train the next generation of teachers to lead cultivating culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms as the University's third Rosemary and Walter Blankley Endowed Chair in Education.
Along with colleague, Dr. Priscilla Jeter-Iles, Dr. Brasof established and co-directs the Social Action and Justice Education Fellowship (SAJE). SAJE looks to address long standing inequities in teacher education by building a community partnership model and curriculum that aims at recruiting, retaining, graduating, and employing a diverse teacher workforce. This Endowed Chair is supporting the study and enactment of socially justice curricular practices within a predominantly white institution so that all secondary education students understand culturally competent and responsive education practices. The Chair is also supporting social and academic activities that assist in the retention of all SAJE fellows.
Dr. Brasof brings almost two decades of student voice research and experiences to this project (see Student Voice and School Governance), creating spaces and opportunities for SAJE fellows and the program's leadership team--consisting of students, staff, and faculty-- to provide critical input and design change strategies that build individual, interpersonal, and organizational capacities for Arcadia University to cultivate social justice-minded educators.
Blankley Endowed Chair FAQs
What is an endowed chair?
An endowed chair is the highest academic award that a university can bestow on a faculty member. Endowed chairs greatly benefit faculty, students, and a university’s standing by encouraging and facilitating a professor’s research or service agenda and are among the most important gifts to higher education.
How long does the faculty member hold the chair?
Recipients of the endowed chair hold the honor for an initial term of three years. At the end of the term, the chair passes to a different faculty member in the School of Education. The same individual may hold the Blankley Chair more than once, but a full term of at least three years must pass before eligibility may be reinstated.
What does funding provided by an endowed chair support?
The funding provided by a chair often is used to attract an expert in a particular field and supports his or her research, teaching, and service activities—all in an effort to make advances in a field of study or toward solving societal or scientific issues.
What does an endowed chair signify for the selected faculty member(s)?
An endowed chair appointment represents the highest level of distinction for a faculty member while recognizing his or her contributions to a particular discipline or scholarly field.