$20 million gift launches Lynch Leadership Academy
Carolyn and Peter Lynch, longtime benefactors of Boston College, have made a $20 million gift to the Lynch School of Education to establish a new educational leadership academy. The first academy of its kind in the nation jointly to train and support new principals from Catholic, public, and charter schools, the Lynch Leadership Academy will bring together school leaders and scholars to study leadership issues.
Peter Lynch, a 1965 Boston College graduate who is vice chairman of Fidelity Management and Research Co., and his wife, Carolyn, a noted philanthropist and the president and CEO of the Lynch Foundation, have played a critical role in the advancement of the Lynch School, which was named on their behalf following a generous gift in 1999.
“Education in the early grades is the most important issue in America,” said Peter Lynch. “The principal is the key individual who can affect everyone in the school. Carolyn and I have always looked for ways in which we can help provide opportunities for young people to have meaningful lives. For us, the essential ingredient is education, and this academy will help to improve educational leadership at public, charter, and urban-centered parochial schools.”
Added Carolyn Lynch, “Principals have one of the most demanding and important jobs in America. My father was a lifelong educator and principal, so I know how critical it is that they receive the best training and support available. Lynch Leadership Academy will use the resources of the Lynch School and Boston College to prepare the next generation of leaders for our Catholic, public, and charter schools.”
In addition to the faculty and staff of the Lynch School, the Lynch Leadership Academy will draw on expertise from Boston College’s Carroll School of Management, Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, Connell School of Nursing, Graduate School of Social Work, and Law School, as well as successful leaders from Boston-area schools.
“Carolyn and Peter are among the first to recognize that the leaders of our Catholic, public, and charter schools all now face a similar agenda: to improve instruction, raise student achievement, develop faculty, and revitalize facilities,” said Lynch School Dean Joseph M. O’Keefe, S.J. “To make a difference in poorly performing or failing schools, leaders need knowledge, vision, creativity, and an ability to manage both incremental and radical change. It is our hope that the Lynch Academy will create a network of colleagues who have these skills.”
The Lynch Leadership Academy will award 25 fellowships annually, accepting nominations from superintendents and leaders in the Catholic, public, and charter school sectors. The fellows will attend a leadership retreat, a two-week summer institute, monthly workshops, and weekly sessions with leadership coaches. They also will participate in an online community to foster ongoing communication and networking among the fellows. Upon completion of the program, the fellows will receive three graduate school credits and a Certificate in School Leadership.
“The United States is the only industrialized country in the world where children are less likely to graduate from high school than their parents,” said Peter Lynch. “That is what we are trying to combat. We feel that this leadership academy, which Carolyn and I and the Lynch Foundation are proud to support, is the best way to make a lasting difference by helping to provide every child with the same quality educational opportunity regardless of race, religion, or national origin.”