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$1 Million Gift from Paul McCulley to Launch New Center at Landmark College

Paul McCulley and his son Jonathan
Paul McCulley and his son Jonathan

PUTNEY, Vt. – Landmark College announced today that it will receive a $1 million gift from noted economist Paul McCulley, an executive with the Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) and the father of 2014 Landmark College graduate Jonathan McCulley. The funding will create the new Morgan le Fay Center for Advances in Business and Entrepreneurship Instruction. The center will be located at Landmark College and will support development and refinement of a progressive pedagogy for students with learning difficulties (LD) in the fields of business, economics and entrepreneurship, as well as research, training and related innovations for educators in the field of LD.

"This comes at a perfect time for Landmark College, which continues to evolve as a more comprehensive, career-focused liberal arts institution,” said Dr. Peter Eden, president of the College. “This gift will catalyze efforts to leverage the natural entrepreneurial strengths of our students, who are bright, young people with learning difficulties eager to make an impact in the world of business, economics and entrepreneurship.”

McCulley is a long-time philanthropist. He is an active board member of the Global Interdependence Center, which seeks to stimulate dialogue on pressing international issues. In 2006, McCulley founded and endowed the Morgan le Fay Dreams Foundation to focus on charities devoted to young adults and education.  Through the foundation, he served as executive producer of award-winning documentary The Grey Area, which chronicles Grinnell College’s innovative Liberal Arts in Prison program, for which McCulley was a sponsoring patron as a trustee of his alma mater.

His support of Landmark College will further enhance the College’s highly regarded work in universal design and integrated assistive technology, and its overall R&D capabilities and effectiveness in post-secondary educational practices in the field of LD. His son, Jonathan, was inducted into the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and graduated with honors from the College on May 17, 2014. He earned an associate of arts in liberal studies, with a concentration in computer science.

“As Jonathan’s father, I have witnessed in real time the transforming power of Landmark College’s unique melding of bespoke pedagogy and community support for those with LD,” McCulley said. “Landmark is a pillar of evidence-based innovation in instruction for students with LD, in both the classroom and in navigating life’s challenges. It is a privilege to support expansion of Landmark College’s path-breaking approach to the field of business, both on campus and in strengthening the College’s efforts in teaching of teachers working with students with LD at other institutions of higher learning.”

The new Center is expected to function and operate closely with the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT), which is the College’s engine for innovation, research and development.

“Students with LD often have traits – such as the innate ability to ‘think differently’ – that produce culture-changing, entrepreneurial innovations,” said Dr. Eden. “Paul McCulley’s generous gift and vision for a new Landmark College center focused on entrepreneurship and innovation is a perfect fit with the work LCIRT is currently doing.”

Paul McCulley
McCulley at a Landmark College fundraising gala in April

“Landmark College has always been known for its innovative approach to educating all students,” Dr. Eden continued. “Last year, in his book Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way, author Bruce Rosenstein singled out the College as an example of a higher education institution with a Peter Drucker-like approach to innovation and creativity. Drucker, of course, is considered the ‘father of modern management,’ and Paul’s gift will help the College grow its programs in business, management, and economics in ways that would please Peter Drucker. These programs and courses help students with LD tap into their creative impulses and prepare them for successful careers in areas like finance, economics, entrepreneurship, and other business-related fields.”

Paul McCulley had a celebrated career at PIMCO, retiring in 2010. In May 2014, PIMCO appointed him to the newly created position of chief economist. PIMCO founder and Chief Investment Officer Bill Gross called McCulley “an experienced and respected thought leader on macroeconomic issues and central banks (who) will be an important contributor to our investment process.”

The Wall Street Journal called McCulley “a fixture in the world of financial media,” and he is credited with coining two phrases that have become part of the macroeconomic lexicon after the global financial crisis of 2007-10: “Shadow Banking,” which refers to financial institutions that provide the same services as traditional banks, but outside the regulations of the banking industry; and “Minsky Moment,” which is a sudden collapse in asset values as part of a credit or business cycle. McCulley’s scholarly research has been quoted widely and was called “magisterial” by Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today, Landmark College is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with learning disabilities (including dyslexia), ADHD, and autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The College offers two and four-year degree options, a graduate-level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently. Students, faculty, and professionals from around the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model, designed through research and practice to help all students become confident, empowered, and independently successful learners.

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