Putting faith into practice through giving

June 19, 2013

Our new Liberty Leader focuses on Jim Anthony, a businessman in commercial real estate who uses his wealth to help others and advance the values he holds dear: For Jim Anthony, it all began in 1983. An MBA graduate from Duke University, Jim had spent the last four years working as a brokerage professional in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles when he decided to move his family back to North Carolina. He took a job with a local commercial real estate firm, Carolantic Realty, and that’s when he “woke up” to the importance of personal philanthropy. “Up until then, I was politically disconnected,” Jim said. “In my Christian faith, I was nominal. Then Steve Stroud, my boss, showed me the importance of investing in our community, both through political involvement and personal giving.” That, plus some financial wake-up calls in the last real estate collapse in the late 1980s, set Jim on a three-decade course of philanthropic commitment, consisting of political...

Funding for school choice included in N.C. House budget

June 14, 2013

Categories: Education

The state budget passed by the N.C. House on Thursday includes appropriations for school choice, reports The Winston-Salem Journal. The vouchers would allow low-income families to apply for up to $4,200 each year to choose a private school: The move was praised by voucher supporters, including Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina – a group that supports vouchers and charter schools as effective choice options. "While the legislative process is not over for this program, we are grateful that this major milestone has been achieved,” said Darrell Allison, PEFNC president, in a prepared statement. The budget now heads to a conference committee where differences with the N.C. Senate version will be resolved....

Duke University ranks in top 50 for graduates’ return on investment

June 11, 2013

Categories: Education

PayScale has a new report out ranking return on investment for colleges across the country — in other words, how much bachelor degree holders can expect to get in return for investing in the credential. Duke University is the only school in the t0p 50, as reported by The Charlotte Business Journal, and Wake Forest University and N.C. State University rank in the top 300. At Duke, graduates can expect a 30-year net ROI of $1.46 million for the school's 2012 cost of $219,500 for a bachelor's degree. Wake Forest and NCSU graduates can expect a return of $904,100 and $832,600, respectively. The upfront investment for the school is far less at NCSU, however, costing $78,100 compared to Wake Forest's $216,000. Rounding out the bottom of the list: Meredith College at a negative $66,200 ROI after a cost of $150,400 to attend.  ...

Providing a thorough grounding in Western civilization

June 5, 2013

Our new Grantee Profile focuses on Asheville School, the South's preeminent co-ed boarding and day school: To appreciate the good that Western civilization has brought to the world, students must first understand it. And what better way to gain understanding than to read, and study, the classics of Western culture — works ranging from Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad to the Old and New testaments to Dante’s Divine Comedy and Shakespeare’sHamlet. That principle — the conviction that students best learn about history by studying the literature, art, philosophy, and political thought of the time — is the guiding force behind the stellar humanities program at Asheville School. Nestled in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville School annually serves 275 students representing 25 states and 13 countries. The average class size is 12 students. One-hundred percent of graduates attend four-year colleges. “There isn’t a single boarding school below the...

Is community college better than a four-year school?

April 30, 2013

Categories: Education

Conventional wisdom holds that students should, at a minimum, earn a bachelor's degree in order to secure a life of financial stability. But how does that conventional wisdom play out in real life? Not well, according to Jeffrey J. Selingo in this article in Forbes. He writes that they don't make bachelor's degrees like the used to. But training at a community college can prove valuable, especially given the low cost: Think a community-college degree is worth less than a credential from a four-year college? In Tennessee, the average first-year salaries of graduates with a two-year degree are $1,000 higher than those with a bachelor's degree. Technical degree holders from the state's community colleges often earn more their first year out than those who studied the same field at a four-year university. Take graduates in health professions from Dyersburg State Community College. They not only finish two years earlier than their counterparts at the University of Tennessee at...

Does your country encourage or discourage generous giving?

April 26, 2013

To what degree does your country respect the freedom to be generous? That's the question examined in a new pilot study from the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute. The new research explores the climate of philanthropic freedom in 13 nations. The study (PDF download) uses a variety of metrics — including the ease of creating philanthropic organizations and tax policies that either encourage or discourage individual generosity — to determine the level of restrictions in each country. The Hudson Institute's index of philanthropic freedom puts the Netherlands, the United States, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and Mexico at the top. Turkey, Russia, Egypt, and China round out the bottom. The study concludes: Many of the high scoring nations are also high income countries, reflecting the long history of philanthropy and civil society in these countries. Additionally, some emerging economies scored high also, reflecting an improving environment that is conducive to...

How donors are reviving appreciation for founding virtues

April 25, 2013

Civic literacy in the United States is on the decline. But generous philanthropists are working to reverse that trend, and this article in the spring issue of Philanthropy magazine (published by the Philanthropy Roundtable) shows how: “We can live without learning French or being great in chemistry,” posits James Basker. “But how can you be an American citizen without knowing American history?” Basker, who is the president of the Gilder Lehrman Institute, is hardly new to the field of civic education. He has been in his position for 16 years, overseeing the institute’s initiatives to increase knowledge of American history. But he believes there is a new opportunity now with the recent adoption of the Common Core standards by 46 states. Mind you, the standards themselves say nothing about history. In fact, Basker and others worry that if schools are only tested on literacy and math, then the teaching of history will recede even further. But Gilder Lehrman is adapting...