T. Denny Sanford with Chancellor Cunningham, NUS Presidents and members of the Board of Trustees

Chancellor’s Communications – May 2017

“Aspire to Inspire before you Expire.” – T. Denny Sanford

I am thrilled to announce that the National University System has just received the largest donation in its history. Philanthropist and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford has generously donated $28 million to our nonprofit university System so we can further our role in leading the national expansion of Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire and the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy. These three educational programs, based on the vision of Denny Sanford, provide innovative, research-based solutions designed to address critical needs in teacher education, PreK-12 instruction and nonprofit fundraising. Through the System’s expansion of the Sanford Education Programs, we remain true to our values, which is building a better tomorrow through education. We are so honored that Denny has chosen us to carry out his vision and we are dedicated to ensuring the positive impact of the Sanford Education Programs will last for generations.

Chancellor Cunningham visits a Harmony Champion School - John Bidwell Elementary in Sacramento, CA.

Chancellor Cunningham visits a Harmony Champion School – John Bidwell Elementary in Sacramento, CA.

To date, Sanford Harmony, which began in 2014, is reaching more than 21,000 classrooms around the country, representing over 500,000 students in more than 35 states. The program expansion phase involves public and private schools in major school districts spanning from Los Angeles to New York City, as well as organizations such as local Boys and Girls Clubs, Head Start programs and partnerships with LA’s BEST after-school enrichment programs and Best Buddies International, a program that helps eradicate the isolation of millions of individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. Sanford Harmony strengthens social and emotional development in PreK-6 children and Sanford Inspire provides professional development resources designed to help teachers create inspiring classroom environments that motivate students to succeed. CityU is bringing both of these programs to school districts across Washington State.  And since we are a nonprofit education system serving the public good, these programs are available to schools at no cost.

I am also very excited about the Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at City University of Seattle, which is part of a national network of Institutes being launched by the founding Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University. The Institute was founded based on Denny Sanford’s own interactions with hundreds of nonprofits and foundations.  He identified a need to strengthen the fundraising process by incorporating business and sales strategies in a unique way. Several other affiliated Institutes have opened across the country, including at John F. Kennedy University, which is part of the National University System; Augustana University; Bellevue University; and Long Island University.  I am thrilled that to date more than 12,000 nonprofit leaders have benefited from the educational and training programs offered by the Institute to help them significantly increase their fundraising capabilities and their positive impacts on society.