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Russell H. Carpenter ’68 Endows Teaching Program at Moses Brown School


Russell H. Carpenter ’68, a 1959 graduate of Moses Brown School, has generously made a $3.6 million gift to his alma mater. A new endowed program, The Russell H. Carpenter ’59 Program in Teaching Excellence, will advance teaching and learning in innovative ways at the co-ed, N-12 Quaker school in Providence. The gift constitutes the single largest contribution to the school’s endowment in its 230-year history.

“Teaching is what Moses Brown has always done best, and to my mind, it’s the most vital part of the school’s future,” says Carpenter. “Although the world is changing rapidly, great teaching will remain as important as ever, and this program will help the school adapt to the needs of education in a globalized world.”

A former Rhodes Scholar and alumnus of Princeton University, Oxford University and Yale Law School, Russ Carpenter is a prominent attorney in Washington, D.C., where he enjoys a distinguished legal career with diverse litigation and international consulting experience. He has lived, worked and traveled in more than 65 countries, speaks Russian and is fluent in French, an ability first developed at Moses Brown.

The Carpenter Program in Teaching Excellence will enrich the learning community at Moses Brown by creating new faculty leadership positions across the school; an array of team-taught, interdisciplinary courses; new resources for faculty professional development and travel, including an innovative model for teacher evaluation; support for faculty publishing and presenting at the national level; and helping to sustain Moses Brown’s commitment to nationally competitive teacher salaries and benefits.

Members of Moses Brown’s faculty were the first to hear about Carpenter’s historic commitment at a special meeting on March 13. “We salute Russ Carpenter’s 60-year relationship with Moses Brown,” says Matt Glendinning, Head of School. “Russ’s life-long dedication to intellectual growth, academic rigor and the liberal arts inspires us. As we pursue a powerful vision for MB’s future, we share his unwavering belief in the transformational impact of teachers.”

Addressing the Moses Brown Board of Trustees, where he has served for 12 years, Carpenter says, “At Moses Brown I learned to write, and to write well – the single most valuable skill for my later academic and professional life. I learned to read critically and think independently. My interest in travel and new experiences started here. And I believe my personal emphasis on the pursuit of truth originated here, in light of the school’s motto, ‘For the Honor of Truth’ and the importance attached to integrity.”

With more than two centuries of history behind it, Moses Brown is experienced at adapting teaching practices to the needs and realities of a changing world. The school was a pioneer in educating both boys and girls in the 18th century, and today more than 4,000 living alumni testify to the school’s tradition of excellent teaching.

“Because many children have different learning styles,” says Glendinning, “what constitutes great teaching today varies from one child to another. Outstanding teachers are lifelong learners who foster passion and curiosity in their students, and inspire them to change the world.”

Despite rapid advancements in technology, such as online learning, mobile devices and “flipped” classrooms, the impact of a great teacher working closely and directly with students is irreplaceable. Russell Carpenter’s gift will ensure that generations of students at Moses Brown continue to benefit from the expertise, mentorship and friendship of world-class teachers.