Campus News

March 3, 2011

Campaign Emory

Alumnus gives $1M to help improve high school graduation in Atlanta

Alumnus Rick Rieder speaking at the Graduation Generation kickoff event held at Sammye E. Coan Middle School.

Provost Earl Lewis.

Rick Rieder '83B, a New York business leader and Emory trustee, has made a gift of $1 million to Emory to help create a program that will address some of the academic and socio-economic challenges that can affect high school dropout rates.

The funds will be used to support Graduation Generation-Atlanta, an initiative led by Emory's Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP) and the Atlanta nonprofit Communities in Schools of Atlanta, in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools.

Community builders from higher education, philanthropic foundations and national, state and local nonprofit agencies focus on factors within the school setting, including the engagement of parents, as well as factors within students' communities.

Graduation Generation-Atlanta will begin with 6th-grade students at Sammye E. Coan Middle School where student progress will be tracked through high school and beyond, with the goal of bolstering academic achievement.

"This gift from Rick Rieder helps to forge a relationship between OUCP and Communities in Schools and to strengthen relationships each has established in local communities and with local schools," says Provost Earl Lewis. "The program it supports will benefit students in the adjacent neighborhood and Emory students and faculty who participate in the partnership. We thank Rick for his commitment to the dream we all share." 

The program will include project-based learning opportunities that link hands-on learning activities to classroom learning and will connect students and their family-to-family support services in the community.

"We have a window in our society today to do something very special, given the current level of support for education at the national, state and local government levels," says Rieder. "We have the opportunity to unlock and develop the talent of so many of our kids who otherwise may not have been given a fighting chance to succeed." 

Emory students from a wide range of academic disciplines will be trained to mentor and tutor the Coan Middle School students during and after school.

Emory's middle- and high-school learning camps will support community-based summer programs in math, the sciences, technology, reading and writing, health and fitness, and college and career preparation. Rieder's gift will support scholarships to fund participation in these summer camps and programs. The University also has committed an additional $500,000 in support of the initiative.

Rieder, an alumnus of Goizueta Business School, is chief investment officer of fixed income for fundamental portfolios with BlackRock, an assets and investments management firm. Passionate about urban educational improvement in the United States, he is a member of the National Leadership Council of Communities In Schools. He also chairs the board of trustees of North Star Academy Charter School of Newark. In 2005, he received the Goizueta Business School Distinguished Alumni award.

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