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Alumni Establish Endowment to Fund the Center for Excellence in Science Education
Susan Wynn Grove (Mathematics ’66) and Cada Grove (’66 Education) have established the Cada R. and Susan Wynn Grove Endowment for Excellence in Science Education. This gift will provide funding to support the efforts and initiatives for the Center of Excellence for Science Education (CESE) in the Eberly College of Science. Both Susan and Cada were first generation college graduates from their respective families and are passionate about the future of science education. To ensure this program is well funded for future generations of students, the Groves will bequeath more than $3 million thru their estate plans to support this endowment.
“We learned about the center when Dean Larson outlined his strategic plan. It piqued our interest and we wanted to know how we could fund it,” Susan said.
“We contacted the college the next day,” Cada added. Their gift to the center will bolster the mission of developing quality science instruction across the University.
The CESE was established in the fall of 2010 with the mission of providing faculty and students with a collaborative educational network that promotes excellence in science teaching and learning.
Reflecting on their own college experiences, the Groves realized that they were exposed to vastly different teaching styles in the same courses. “I had a small class with a lot of discussion, a lot of chances to ask questions. Cada, who was not a math major, had a mass lecture that consisted of lecture only and no opportunity for discussion. As a result it is questionable as to how much he got out of the course,” Susan said.
The Groves realized that there had to be better techniques to teach math in courses designed for non-majors. “Math is such a critical subject; it teaches a structured way of thinking, analyzing, organizing,” Susan said. “Students in many fields are required to take it, and they need to be engaged. The non-majors are really the students who need an instructor who can spark their interest in the subject.”
The couple agreed that they were interested in funding the development of innovative programs to improve instruction in not only math education, but across all the science disciplines. They felt that creating this endowment for the center was a way to serve the students at the university they both love. “Penn State is a phenomenal school and Dean Larson’s passion to raise the bar on instruction is something that really spoke to us,” Cada said. The Grove’s gift will provide resources and training to enhance the educational experience for undergraduates across the entire University.
This gift to the college is not the Grove’s first to the college; Susan and Cada’s philanthropy has included other financial and personal service contributions over the years. With these investments of time, experience, and funds, the college can continue to be a premier center of education and research.