Campus: CSU Northridge -- April 28, 2003

CSUN Names College of Education in Honor of Disney's Michael D. Eisner

Cal State Northridge today named its college of education after Disney chairman Michael D. Eisner.

University officials renamed the college in honor of Eisner after The Eisner Foundation, created by Eisner and his wife, Jane, gave Northridge $7 million for the establishment of the Center for Teaching and Learning, which provides national leadership in preparing teachers to support the educational and emotional needs of all children in the classroom.

The Eisner gift is the single largest donation in the university's history.

"This is the first time we've ever named a college after an individual," said CSUN President Jolene Koester. "We are doing so in part because of the generosity of the gift from The Eisner Foundation, but also in recognition of Michael Eisner's dedication to ensuring that the men and women who pass through our doors have the skills they need so all our children have an opportunity to succeed."

Michael Eisner said he was honored to have the college named after him. "Educators who walk these halls are similar in their dedication but different in their styles of teaching, just as students are similar in their thirst for information but often quite different in their styles of learning," Eisner said. "Here teachers will acquire the knowledge and skills to connect with students in all their differences, so that all children can reach, can stretch, can achieve their goals."

Cal State Northridge is considered a leading producer of teachers among public institutions in California. It was one of only four universities nationwide tapped last year by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to take part in a landmark initiative designed to strengthen K-12 teaching by developing state-of-the-art programs at schools of education.

The Eisner gift, which was announced last year, provides financial support for the establishment of CSUN's Center for Teaching and Learning, and endows the Eisner Chair in Teaching and Learning, which serves as the center's director.

The new center trains teachers in the methodology and philosophy of Schools Attuned, a systematic approach to understanding and managing differences in learning. Schools Attuned is a program of All Kinds of Minds, a North Carolina-based non-profit institute for the study of differences in learning. The institute provides programs, tools and a common language for parents, educators and clinicians to help children with learning differences achieve success in school and in life.

The center will incorporate the teachings and philosophies of All Kinds of Minds and its founder, Dr. Mel Levine, a professor of pediatrics and director of the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill. He is also the author of the best-selling book "A Mind at a Time."

The Eisner Foundation provides financial support to organizations that undertake innovative and concrete programs designed to enhance and enrich the lives of children who are underserved, or have learning differences, and their families. The Foundation recognizes that all aspects of a child's life are linked to their community, including personal health, economic stability, appropriate mentors, living conditions and educational opportunities.

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130

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