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Non-alumnus makes one of top gifts ever to a U.S. education school
Bostonian Dan Meyers Honors Memory Of Massachusetts Public School Teacher With $22 Million Gift To U.Va.'S Curry School Of Education

September 24, 2004 -- Daniel Meyers, a Boston businessman, has honored the memory of a family friend, athlete and educator with a $22 million gift to the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. His gift, announced at a private event the evening of Sept. 23, is believed to be the second largest ever made to an education school at an American university.

Meyers, 41, is co-founder, chief executive officer and board chairman of First Marblehead Corp., which provides marketing and related services to private lenders of educational loans.

His gift is made in memory of Anthony D. "Wally" Bavaro, a Boston native who played football for the San Francisco 49ers until a knee injury led him to a 40-year career as a history teacher and coach in the public schools of Malden and Chelsea, Mass.

The $22 million gift strengthens Curry's position as a national model for educating future teachers and related professionals. The Curry School is currently housed in U.Va.'s Ruffner Hall and multiple other facilities on and off the University's Grounds - all of them severely constricted by space and technology limitations. Meyers' leadership gift will be applied to the cost of a new building, which will consolidate programs, giving students and faculty the capacity to collaborate and pioneer new tools for teaching and learning.

"Dan Meyers' gift is a tremendous endorsement of the Curry School and enhances its reputation as one of the top education schools in the country," U.Va. President John T. Casteen III said. "His generosity brings the school significantly closer to its goal of building a new facility that better supports its mission to prepare students to work in the nation's educational system, to provide professional development programs for educators, and to conduct research and scholarship that addresses issues of importance to K-12 and higher education in the United States."

Meyers, a Marblehead, Mass., native whose widowed mother struggled to send him and three siblings through college, graduated from Brandeis University and built a successful career as a capital markets trader. He was introduced to U.Va. in the early 1990s through David W. Breneman, who became dean of the Curry School in 1995, but who was, at the time of their meeting, a visiting professor at Harvard University.

Meyers had approached Breneman, who is an expert in the economics of higher education, to seek his advice about the viability of using the securities market to fund student loans. Breneman was impressed with Meyers's vision and helped him get his business off the ground.

Meyers has been involved with the Curry School ever since. He currently serves as vice-chair of the Curry School of Education Foundation board of directors. Six years ago, he made his first gift to the school to endow the Newton and Rita Meyers Professorship in the Economics of Higher Education, which honors his parents.

"Higher education raises the common denominator for the development of intellect, societal behavior and economic prosperity," Meyers said. "Its impact on my family has been extraordinary, and I believe that regardless of the state of a nation, its prospects are determined by this one, critical ingredient."

"As the school sets its course for the 21st century, we will rely upon the guidance and service of our alumni and of friends like Dan Meyers," Breneman said. "Dan's service to the Curry Foundation Board has further revealed the depth of his commitment to helping this nation realize the Jeffersonian vision of an educated populace."

Contacts: Kathleen Valenzi, (434) 924-6857, or Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 02-Nov-2005 10:41:11 EST
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