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$100M Gift to National U for 'Social Emotional Learning'

June 6, 2018

A South Dakota businessman has agreed to donate $100 million to the National University System to expand a program he helped start there to build social emotional intelligence in children.

T. Denny Sanford has made a series of gifts over the last five years to create Sanford Harmony, which focuses on building empathy, communication and inclusion in pre-K through sixth grade. The new gift aims to make the program available to every American child and to create a research institute that will fund the work of fellows from top universities. 

Sanford has given a total of $170 million to National, a nonprofit system based in California.

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Doug Lederman

Doug Lederman is editor and co-founder of Inside Higher Ed. He helps lead the news organization's editorial operations, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Doug speaks widely about higher education, including on C-Span and National Public Radio and at meetings and on campuses around the country, and his work has appeared in The New York Times and USA Today, among other publications. Doug was managing editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education from 1999 to 2003. Before that, Doug had worked at The Chronicle since 1986 in a variety of roles, first as an athletics reporter and editor. He has won three National Awards for Education Reporting from the Education Writers Association, including one in 2009 for a series of Inside Higher Ed articles he co-wrote on college rankings. He began his career as a news clerk at The New York Times. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and graduated in 1984 from Princeton University. Doug lives with his wife, Kate Scharff, in Bethesda, Md.

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