WFU’s Educating Character Initiative announces 2024 Capacity-Building Grant recipients

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The Educating Character Initiative (ECI), a part of the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University, has awarded 41 grants of up to $50,000 to institutions nationwide seeking to educate and embed character in their distinctive contexts of higher education.  

“We look forward to the ways in which the work of these institutions will deepen collective understanding of character and expand capacity to educate character in undergraduate colleges and universities,” said Beth Purvis, the director of the ECI. 

The mission of the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University is to inspire, educate and empower leaders of character to serve humanity. Through innovative teaching, creative programming and cutting-edge research, the program aims to transform the lives of students, foster an inclusive culture of leadership and character, and catalyze a broader public conversation that places character at the center of leadership. 

In recent years, many colleges and universities have reached out to solicit advice and share ideas about how to educate character. Inspired by the University’s motto of Pro Humanitate (for humanity) and supported through a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., Wake Forest developed the Educating Character Initiative to support a wider community of individuals and institutions to educate character within higher education.

Through the creation of a network of interested institutions and educators, the development and dissemination of research and resources, the organization of conferences and convenings, and the direct awarding of grants to individuals and institutions interested in advancing this work, the Program for Leadership and Character aspires to nurture a creative, compassionate and collaborative community of educators who can learn from each other as partners in character education.

The list of institutions receiving 2024 awards and the names of projects are included below:

Arkansas State University
Building Character Initiative: A Focus on A-State Students

Auburn University at Montgomery
Purpose and Character for Holistic Student Success

Austin Community College
Completing the CIRCLE: Shaping Character Through Liberal Education at Austin Community College District

Baylor University
In collaboration with Yale University, Howard University, Lincoln University,Davidson College and the University of Pennsylvania
Common Good Character Trust

Baylor University
Preparing Champions

Bellarmine University
Character Education in Connection to Thomas Merton

Carleton College
Knowing Ourselves: Reflecting on Values, Ethics, and Meaning-Making in the First-Year Seminar

Carson-Newman University
Developing Character Toward Student Success and Flourishing

The City University of New York
The Beloved Community Character and Leadership Institute

Clarke University
Clarke Character and Charism Project

Davidson College
Cultivating Humane Instincts and Building Public Good

Elms College
Ethical Leadership & Mission Sustainability (ELMS)

Fairleigh Dickinson University
Nurturing Global Citizens of Character

Fort Lewis College
Character Building Conversations on Reconciliation & Restorative Justice

Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System
Planning for Moral Resilience in Nursing Students

Hildegard College
Formation for the Common Good

Lee University
Character through Core Values

Miami University
The Character of Entrepreneurship: Preparing Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurial Leaders

Middle Georgia State University
Leadership and Character Development Program

National Louis University
Building Interpersonal Strength and Character to Improve College Persistence and Graduation

North Park University
Utilizing The Sankofa Experience to Educate Character Development in Empathy and Justice

Providence College
Virtuous Education: Integrating the Humanistic Tradition with Character Formation

Radford University
Cultivating Virtues for Solving Wicked Problems

Rhodes College
Creating a Community of Character at Rhodes College

Saint Mary’s College of California
Character for Community Engagement

Salem Academy & College
Touchstones for Character: Gender, Care, and Justice

Santa Clara University
Capacity-Building for Character Formation within a Principled Leadership Program

Seton Hill University
Seeking Conviction and Understanding Vocation: Coordinating Character Education at Seton Hill University

Tufts University
Developing Rigorous Measures for Assessing Civic Character: A Mixed Methods Approach to Scale Construction

University of California Santa Barbara
The Development of an Open-Source App for Enhancing Curiosity and its Associated Virtues

University of Chicago
Developing and Assessing a Fellowship Program in Virtue and Practical Wisdom

University of Delaware
Institutional Consensus of Character Education at the University of Delaware

University of Dubuque
Educating Character in Athletics at the University of Dubuque and Beyond

University of Florida
Project VITE: Virtue in Teacher Education

University of Kansas
IRISE Values Adoption Initiative

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
From Theory to Practice: Building Communities for Ethical Deliberation at the Nation’s Oldest Public University

University of Texas San Antonio
Developing and Designing Character Education at UTSA: A Capacity Building Project

University of Virginia
Building Faculty Capacity to Cultivate Character in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Virginia

Utah State University
Developing the Temperament and Tools to Build Peace in the 21st Century (Patrick Q. Mason, Austin J. Knuppe, Shannon Peterson, Tammy M. Proctor)

Villanova University
Augustinian Leadership & Character Education Beyond 1st-Year Experience: Shared Understanding & Collaboration

Warren Wilson College
Character at Work: Educating for Civic Engagement, Empathy, and Integrity at a Work College

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