University of Oxford receives £150m gift for the Humanities

first_imgSEE ALSO: Billionaire David Harding’s £100m gift to Cambridge University (5 February 2019)Mega gifts to wealthy universities, by Adrian Beney (19 June 2019) Tagged with: artificial intelligence Major gift Oxford University  420 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis14 Performing arts venuesThe building will also include performing arts and exhibition venues to benefit the wider Oxford community and public. Facilities will include a 500-seat concert hall and a 250-seat auditorium, as well as flexible performance and exhibition spaces for music, dance, and art. These venues will feature programming from Oxford students and faculty, local community-based organisations, and leading international artists. They also will provide space for the public to gather at Oxford for festivals and other cultural celebrations. Howard Lake | 19 June 2019 | News Institute for Ethics in AIThe Schwarzman Centre will also house Oxford’s new Institute for Ethics in AI. This will enhance the role of the Humanities in studying the ethical implications of artificial intelligence and other new computing technologies.The building is expected to open in Autumn 2024. Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: Advertisement “This generous donation from Stephen A. Schwarzman marks a significant endorsement of the value of the Humanities in the 21st century and in Oxford University as the world leader in the field. The new Schwarzman Centre will open a vibrant cultural programme to the public and will enable Oxford to remain at the forefront of both research and teaching while demonstrating the critical role the Humanities will play in helping human society navigate the technological changes of the 21st century.”About Stephen A SchwarzmanStephen Schwarzman – image: Stephen A. Schwarzman said of his gift to Oxford University:‘I’m proud to partner with Oxford to establish the Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities which will unite Oxford’s Humanities faculties for the first time, include a new Institute for Ethics in AI to explore crucial questions affecting the workplace and society, and in addition offer modern performing arts facilities that will deepen Oxford’s engagement with the public.“For nearly 1,000 years, the study of the Humanities at Oxford has been core to western civilisation and scholarship. We need to ensure that its insights and principles can be adapted to today’s dynamic world. Oxford’s longstanding global leadership in the Humanities uniquely positions it to achieve this important objective.”Author Sir Philip Pullman said:“This is one of the most exciting ideas for a long time. Oxford, which abounds in talent of all kinds, deserves a proper centre for the study and celebration of the humanities. This is a time when technology is making new media, new forms of communication, new ways of thinking available to a much wider range of students and citizens than ever before, but also when the roots of humane study need nourishing and strengthening – and indeed protecting – in a world that sometimes seems to have lost touch with the best elements of its past.“I welcome this new enterprise warmly, and I’m sure it will flourish and soon be widely seen, and celebrated, as an essential part of what Oxford means.”Neil MacGregor, former museum director, writer and broadcaster, added:‘This magnificent, munificent gift to the University is as timely as it is generous. The way we make new knowledge is changing. And soon Oxford will, thanks to this gift, have a building specifically designed both to foster a new way of working, and to share its benefits as widely as possible.”center_img Main photo: Logic Lane, by Matt Stuart under Creative Commons Oxford University has received a gift of £150 million to support the way it teaches, researches, and shares the Humanities with the world. It is “the largest single donation to the University since the Renaissance”.The £150 million donation has been made by Stephen Schwarzman, the philanthropist and Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Blackstone, the world’s largest alternative investment firm.The funding will create the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities. This will bring together, for the first time, Oxford’s programmes in:Englishhistorylinguisticsphilology and phoneticsmedieval and modern languagesmusicphilosophyand theology and religion.With a new library in the space, the centre will encourage cross-disciplinary and collaborative study. University of Oxford receives £150m gift for the Humanities Mr Schwarzman’s charitable giving has focused on education, culture and the arts, and he has an interest in supporting efforts to tackle big problems with transformative solutions.For example, in October 2018, he announced a foundational $350 million gift to establish the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, an interdisciplinary hub which will reorient MIT to address the opportunities and challenges presented by the rise of artificial intelligence. It will address critical ethical and policy considerations to ensure that the technologies are employed for the common good.He gave $150 million in 2015 to Yale University to establish a first-of-its-kind campus centre in Yale’s historic Commons building, and has also gifted $50 million to the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, which provides tuition assistance to underprivileged children attending Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of New York.In 2013, he founded an international scholarship programme, ‘Schwarzman Scholars‘, at Tsinghua University in Beijing to educate future leaders about China. At over $575 million, the programme is modelled on the Rhodes Scholarship and is the single largest philanthropic effort in China’s history coming largely from international donors.In 2007, Mr Schwarzman donated $100 million to the New York Public Library on whose board he serves. About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis14  419 total views,  1 views todaylast_img read more

Vermont State Parks announces renewable energy innovation challenge

first_imgAt the Sunward solar manufacturing facility in Winooski today, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) and Governor Jim Douglas kicked off a new initiative offering Vermont companies the opportunity to demonstrate their newest renewable energy and energy conservation products in the Vermont State Park system.The new initiative—dubbed the Vermont State Parks Innovation Challenge—is an opportunity for Vermont’s energy companies to connect with park visitors, and benefit from the Vermont State Parks brand, while making a contribution to an important state resource.Sunward, one of Vermont’s premier solar hot water companies, will be the first official innovation partner.  All told, the company will donate a solar hot water system with an 80 gallon storage tank and a timber frame ground mount option, with a total retail value of approximately $11,000.“As you well know, Vermont is on the forefront of the green economy and a leader in the pursuit of 21st Century solutions that grow the economy and create good jobs,” said Governor Jim Douglas.  “Vermont has always been a home for innovation. This initiative continues that tradition.”Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jason Gibbs said the Vermont State Parks Innovation Challenge combines Vermont’s ongoing investments in growing the green economy and workforce development with the state’s reputation as a leader in natural resource management.   “The Vermont State Parks Innovation Challenge is a unique opportunity to build a partnership that further encourages growth in this economic sector and inspires innovation in Vermont’s green industry,” Gibbs said.   Sunward president and CEO Joe Perrotto said his company is delighted to be the first official partner in this initiative.  “Using Vermont State Parks as venues for demonstration offers companies a comparative advantage in the production and marketing of their products that they can’t get from other demonstration sites,” Perrotto said.  “It is also a great way for companies to make a contribution to one of our state’s most valuable, and most popular, assets.”BENEFITS OF THE PARTNERSHIPCommissioner Gibbs said companies with demonstration projects in any one of Vermont’s 52 state parks will benefit from:· The power of the State of Vermont’s and Vermont State Park brands;· On site branding opportunities and passive access to park visitors;· Earned media; and· Access to the park(s) for demonstration and promotion of the product to prospective customers, as well as for video and photography. HOW DO COMPANIES APPLY?Companies interested in applying to have their products showcased in a Vermont State Park must send a product summary and proposal to [email protected](link sends e-mail) or by snail mail to:Vermont State Parks Innovation ChallengeC/O Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation103 South Main St.Waterbury, VT 05671-0601ABOUT SUNWARD SOLARSunward is a US company, headquartered in Vermont, and is an affiliate of Country Home Products. For over 25 years, Country Home Products has been designing and manufacturing hard-working, long-lasting, purpose-built tools to help people get the most enjoyment from the places they call home.Sunward™ is a company that was started to fill a void. Homeowners were desperately looking for more efficient, planet-friendly and cost-saving ways to deal with their energy. And solar hot water made perfect sense. Yet, no company had connected the dots for homeowners. Until Sunward.  For more information, visit is external)###Jason GibbsCommissionerDepartment of Forests, Parks and Recreationlast_img read more

Interim president establishes culture commission

first_imgLillian Zeng | Daily TrojanInterim President Wanda Austin sent a memo to the USC community Tuesday announcing the launch of the President’s Culture Commission, which will oversee campus culture initiatives and improvements. Austin will lead the commission, which comprises 13 students, faculty and staff, including Keck School of Medicine Dean Lauren Mosqueda and Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Dean Willow Bay. Undergraduate Student Government President Debbie Lee and Graduate Student Government President Joycelyn Yip will represent students on the commission. “They represent a broad range of perspectives from our university community,” Austin wrote.Lee said that she is excited to serve on the President’s Culture Commission.“I’m excited to … delve deeply into the university’s collective values,” Lee said. “I hope to be able to honestly evaluate where we are now and see how we can meaningfully act to build a thriving USC culture.”In the memo, Austin expressed gratitude to the Task Force on Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness, which has been meeting for the past 18 months to develop recommendations regarding ways USC can improve campus culture.  “This group … has dedicated a tremendous amount of time and energy to exploring how a large, diverse organization such as USC can become more connected and better aligned in its mission, vision and values,” Austin wrote. “The President’s Culture Commission will consider the Task Force’s recommendations on the best partners and tools to conduct such an assessment, and will keep the community informed in the process.”The Task Force recommended that the commission conduct a transparent “values assessment” to help the University address its collective strengths and opportunities. Paul Rosenbloom, professor of computer science and co-chair of the Task Force on Workplace Standards and Employee Wellness, will serve on one of the commission’s faculty positions. “The Task Force has always considered itself to be a short-term body that was to be followed up by something more permanent,” Rosenbloom said in an email to the Daily Trojan. “The just-announced President’s Culture Commission is one important piece of this follow up that, with President Austin as chair, truly emphasizes how important the process of culture change is to our future.”In the memo, Austin introduced the “Change Progress Dashboard,” a new website used to track the University’s progress and commitment to change. Website visitors can view the status of University initiatives regarding “Accountability,” “Transparency” and “Wellness/Culture.” “This dashboard, which we will populate over time with new information and details, will track key change initiatives, including our culture improvement work,” Austin wrote. According to the dashboard, one of the Culture Commission’s first initiatives to redraft the University’s Code of Ethics. “Culture change is a journey and not a simple fix, and demands a sustained focus on genuine listening, open dialogue, and meaningful follow up,” Austin wrote. “Our work on culture and values will help us become stronger as a Trojan Family.”last_img read more