Campaign Chair Permanently Endows Doyle Engaging Difference Initiative

October 29, 2011 – Georgetown University has announced a $10 million gift from PotashCorp President and CEO William J. Doyle to permanently endow an initiative designed to educate a new generation of leaders for a globalizing world. Doyle (C'72) is a member of Georgetown's Board of Directors and chairs the For Generations to Come campaign steering committee.

The Doyle Engaging Difference Initiative, created in 2009 with a gift from Doyle, is a campus-wide collaboration designed to deepen the university's own commitment to tolerance and diversity and enhance global awareness of the challenges and opportunities of an era of increasing interconnectedness.

A joint effort of Georgetown College, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs and the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), the Doyle Initiative benefits the entire campus community--through support for faculty fellowships, junior year abroad experiences, symposia and redesigned courses. The new gift will permanently endow the initiative and enable it to build on its successes.

"The Doyle Initiative does two very powerful things: It promotes innovation in learning, what we call 'transformational pedagogy,' and it encourages student engagement with difference and the diversity of human experience," said Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. "In that, we think it helps our faculty and students be better teachers and learners, and it helps prepare our students for the lives they will lead in an increasingly connected and diverse world. It would not have happened without Bill and Kathy Doyle, and it will continue now through their ongoing support."

"I want to thank Chet Gillis, Tom Banchoff and Randy Bass for their leadership in making the Doyle Initiative a reality, one that is already having an impact on students who are here at Georgetown today," said Doyle, referring to the dean of Georgetown College and the directors of the Berkley Center and CNDLS, respectively. "Students enter Georgetown from such diverse backgrounds--and they often bring their prejudices with them," said Doyle. "These can be racial, religious, ethnic or other forms of intolerance. Through the program, we challenge students to examine their preconceptions and encourage them to engage with and learn to appreciate the differences in our human community--on campus, in our nation and on a global scale."

The Doyle Initiative has implemented three interconnected programs during its first two years. The first program, run through CNDLS, provides resources for faculty to redesign courses to incorporate themes of tolerance and diversity and explore the challenges of cultural, social, religious, racial and other differences.

A second program has expanded two efforts run through the Berkley Center--the Junior Year Abroad Network and the Undergraduate Fellows Program. In the past two years, the year-abroad program has sent 115 students to 31 countries for study who then return home to collaborate on reports about their experiences. The undergraduate fellows program has enabled students to perform original research into topics ranging from social media and intercultural understanding to business, law and values.

A third program supports an annual symposium on diversity topics, community outreach and an ongoing survey that tracks how students' attitudes on religion, culture and values evolve during their years at Georgetown.

Read more about the Doyle Engaging Differences Initiative.