From the Chair

When The Teagle Foundation was established in 1944, the Founder’s stated objective was to “advance the well-being and general good of mankind.” While this was a very general objective, Walter C. Teagle, Sr. strongly believed in the central role of education in achieving it.  Thus, a commitment to education has always been at the core of the Foundation’s work.

These days, we are seeing an emphasis on higher education as job preparation – specifically as training for the first job out of college. While we share concern for the employability of college graduates, we must see a deeper connection between a high-quality liberal arts education and a successful life, including a successful working life.  An excellent liberal arts education cultivates in students critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and communication skills that will pay dividends both for the labor force and for our American democracy.  

Over the last decade, the Foundation’s unique approach to grant making has focused on supporting collaborations among institutions invested in strengthening liberal arts education. In the last five years, we have proudly awarded over 60 collaborative grants to programs advancing undergraduate teaching and learning at over 350 institutions. For a Foundation of our size, we are pleased with the scale of our reach.  

We devote considerable attention to how we determine success in our funded projects and how we can combine quality with scale through dissemination of the most productive work we do with our grantees.  Our recent projects have explored the application of the liberal arts in varying contexts including access and preparation for higher education, civic learning, blended online instruction, and preparing graduate students as teachers.  

It has been a source of great pride and pleasure to continue work begun by my Grandfather as the Teagle Foundation pursues its mission of promoting excellence in higher education teaching and learning.  We continue to dedicate our efforts to the goal of replicability so that our grantees’ good work may be cast widely to increase the numbers of those who benefit from a high-quality liberal arts education that lasts a lifetime.   

Walter C. Teagle III, Chair