Newhouse endowment for the CIRCLE directorship

The Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation has made a $1.5 million gift to endow the directorship of the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the leading research center on youth civic education and engagement at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.

This endowment is the most recent gift from Elyse Newhouse, J82, and her husband Michael Newhouse, A82, who have long been generous supporters of Tisch College and Tufts University. The gift will advance CIRCLE’s mission to understand and eradicate the barriers that keep some young people from participating in civic life. It will ensure that CIRCLE, a consequential anchor institution in the fields of civic education and engagement, will continue to have extraordinary impact on diverse young people’s ability to have a voice in our democracy.

[See the whole press release here.]

This announcement is doubly meaningful for me. First, the director is my close colleague and successor Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, who richly merits an endowed position as a national leader in the field of youth civic engagement. CIRCLE is intensely collaborative, and the whole team deserves credit for all of its work, yet this is a moment to celebrate Kei. The gift reflects her accomplishments and excellence.

Second, the endowment vindicates our initial vision for CIRCLE. Founded in July 2001, CIRCLE began as strictly grant-funded project, albeit with the ambition of becoming a permanent institution that would help create a new field of research and practice. We moved from University of Maryland to Tufts in 2008 because of Tufts’ commitment to civic engagement and research. I proudly turned over the leadership to Kei in 2015. Tufts has supported CIRCLE in many ways, of which the Newhouse endowment is the newest–and one of the most significant–examples. We can now be sure that CIRCLE will be active and influential for a long time to come.

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.