The University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education and Human Development has received a $10 million gift from local philanthropist Jane Batten to support professorships and fellowships in early childhood education.
The gift qualified for a match through UVa’s Bicentennial Professors Fund, according to a news release, resulting in a total impact of $16.3 million for the Curry School.
“This truly transformative gift will accelerate our efforts to advance research and program development, making a global impact on the quality of education offered to young children,” said Bob Pianta, dean of the school.
Jane Batten is the wife of the late Frank Batten Sr.; the couple founded the university’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy with a $100 million gift in 2007.
Frank Batten Sr. was highly involved in state higher education, and Jane Batten has worked with E3: Elevate Early Education, a Virginia nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and advocating for investment in early education, which led to the creation in 2015 of the New E3 School in Norfolk.
“I’m delighted to support an initiative that’s so close to my heart,” Jane Batten said in a news release. “I’ve long been a passionate champion of early childhood education, and it is fulfilling to provide the Curry School with resources that will enable it to generate new knowledge in the field.”
The announcement comes amid a $5 billion capital campaign at UVa, which will begin its public phase this fall.