Transcending Time and Space with the Curry School
The inscription on his father's headstone reads, "A life devoted to Christ, family, friends, country, and mankind lives forever."
Robert M. Coffelt, Jr., wants to leave behind a legacy as well, and in the process "hitch his wagon" to something bigger than himself.
While Coffelt was enrolled in the College in the early 1970s he took a couple of courses from the Curry School and found them "very powerful." When he began to take a closer look at Curry's work a few years ago, he quickly realized that the School's mission was consistent with his own: to "make the world a better place."
"My mother and I chose the Curry School because the work it does transcends time and space," Coffelt says. "It has an impact both on current society and the future.
"Curry is doing such a great thing," he continues. "It is the platform by which we can develop better citizens and change the country. It's the multiplier." He also likes the efforts the School is making "in terms of really exploring the theory of educationhow you make a teacher a better teacher and how you make students more receptive to learning."
Coffelt is an only child who has no children of his own. He and his mother, Annetta Coffelt, who has been widowed since 1991, have always made their gifts to the Curry School Foundation jointly, beginning with an endowed scholarship for students in the five-year teacher education program.
"Not having children or grandchildren, we wanted to begin our giving with a human connection," Coffelt says. They both enjoy attending the annual Curry School Foundation honors and awards luncheon, where they can meet the current year's recipient of their scholarship.
They also give annually to the school's unrestricted fund. "I need to trust the School to use the funds for whatever it deems a priority," Bob says. They made a generous gift for Bavaro Hall as well.
"Ultimately, Mother and I have been doing this philanthropy because it makes us feel good, and we decided it was foolish for us to take our assets to the grave with us," Coffelt says. "There's more we're receiving from this than you might realize."
The Robert M. and Annetta J. Coffelt and Robert M. Coffelt, Jr., Scholarship Fund was created by Robert M. Coffelt, Jr., in memory of Robert M. and in honor of Annetta J. Coffelt of Fairfax, Va. This scholarship was created to support students who will become ethical, constructive citizens of this country and the world, and who will make a thoughtful and positive impact on society. Preference will be given to students who are enrolled in the B/MT Teacher Education program at the Curry School of Education; are in need of financial assistance to complete the program; whose graduate work will lead to licensure and endorsement in elementary education; and whose undergraduate major is in political science, political theory, psychology or religious studies.