These donors have made exceptional contributions to the world of education.
David and Katherine Bradley
The Bradley name has become synonymous with local philanthropy in recent years. Their donation of major funds from the estimated $300 million sale of the Advisory Board and Corporate Executive Board companies helped form The CityBridge Foundation, a Washington-based educational funding organization where Katherine Bradley serves as president. In addition, her $100,000 donation to the D.C. Public Education Fund this spring has enabled D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee to bring in former White House communications director Anita Dunn for an overhaul of the school system’s image. The Bradleys also donate generously to Teach for America, KIPP Schools, Fight for Children, and the Washington Ballet.
Steve and Jean Case
AOL co-founder and longtime philanthropist Steve Case and wife Jean have the attention of the White House. Known for utilizing social media to raise interest and funds for various organizations, The Case Foundation teamed up with the Obama Administration this spring for a summit aimed at “engaging citizens in public sector efforts.” The foundation worked closely this year with CityYear Washington D.C.’s Heroes Program, which helps volunteers aimed at educating middle and high school students and communities about HIV/AIDS.
An active member of Venture Philanthropy Partners, Davies is considered a leader in Washington’s philanthropic circles. Since 2000 he’s helped VPP raise over $70 million for underprivileged children and families and there’s no sign of him stopping. His personal interests lie in building a solid foundation of education in the city, and he actively funds organizations including LIFT DC and the See Forever Foundation, supporting the Maya Angelou Public Charter School.
Ken and Bonnie Feld
In September 2009, the Feld family pledged $10 million to Boston University to enhance its faculty development and other projects. Prior funding from the Feld Family Foundation to BU has resulted in the Feld Family Career Center at the University’s School of Management and the Feld Family Skating Center at Agannis Arena. The foundation supports higher education, performing arts, and conservation of the endangered Asian elephant. Locally, the Felds are high dollar supporters of Signature Theatre and The Duke Ellington School’s Theater Department.
Raul and Jean-Marie Fernandez
Education activist and VPP investor Raul Fernandez and wife, Jean-Marie, direct the efforts of their Fernandez Foundation into giving children the resources, scholarships, and encouragement needed to succeed. They are actively involved with local educational organizations including DC Public Education Fund, Washington’s Center City Consortium, DC College Access Program, Fight for Children, and the Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus in Anacostia.
Morton and Norma Lee Funger
Morton Funger, a principal of Ralmor Corporation and chairman of the board of Community Realty Co., serves as a trustee of Ralmor Corporation (which named Funger Hall in his honor in recognition of a major gift), the World Presidents Organization, the Trustees Council of the National Gallery of Art, and the National Air and Space Museum. This year, the Fungers were recognized for their generosity by The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where their names were inscribed on the Wall of Life. Morton Funger was also made an honorary member of the University’s Board of Governors.
As chairman of The Washington Post Company, it comes as no surprise that Graham would support various educational organizations. In addition to running one of the country’s top news organizations, he serves as president of the D.C. College Access Program, an organization that encourages D.C. high school students to apply to and attend college, and is on the board of directors for The Summit Fund of Washington.
Jeong and Cindy Kim
It’s a story you think only happens in the movies. Jeong Kim went from paying for college by working at a 7-Eleven to joining the Navy and finally, becoming one of the top engineers in the country. After launching and selling Yurie Systems, pocketing $500 million from the $1.1 billion sale, he joined the faculty at University of Maryland and has since donated $5 million for the school’s engineering building, aptly named the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.
As the chairman and founder of FOCUS (Friends of Choice in Urban Schools), a charitable organization designed to promote better education here in Washington, educational causes have always been close to Mike Peabody’s heart. Some might say he has an education-oriented family gene, as he is the grandson of Rev. Endicott Peabody, founder of the prestigious Groton School. He also serves as chair of the D.C. Public School Coalition.
Peebles is best known in the area as an entrepreneurial pioneer in the real estate industry, but he is also committed to helping local youth receive the best education possible. In 2009 he established the Yvonne Willoughby Poole Scholarship Fund in memory of his mother, which awards scholarships to young women attending the University of the District of Columbia’s School of Business.
Russ and Norma Ramsey
It’s no secret that the Ramseys are dedicated supporters of education. Their generous donations to The George Washington University, where Russ Ramsey serves as chairman of the board, have included $1 million to the Ramsey Student Investment Fund. In addition, these founding investors of Venture Philanthropy Partners are at the helm of Ramsey Asset Management and the W. Russell and Norma G. Ramsey Foundation, and have donated resources to education and family-centric organizations.