The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Corrigan Family Gift Launches Leadership Initiative at Dartmouth

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Dartmouth College undertook a major initiative in undergraduate leadership education through a $5.6 million gift from Glenda and Fritz Corrigan, Class of 1964, and their family. The Corrigan family gift is a spendable twenty-year commitment to the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, the College’s interdisciplinary center for social science and public policy.

“We are so grateful to the Corrigan family for significantly expanding the opportunities for leadership training and studies available to students,” said then Dartmouth President, James Wright. “Preparing students for a life time of responsible leadership is an important part of our mission, and the skills and insights that they will gain as a result of this gift will have a direct impact on their communities and lives outside of Hanover.”

Activities funded by the Corrigan family gift built upon innovative programs developed by the Center specifically to develop leadership qualities. They have included a capstone leadership fellows program, new curriculum in leadership, a public policy minor, off-campus internships, civic skills training, student discussion groups, and a policy research shop. 

“This wonderful gift from the Corrigan family will have an immediate impact on students by enabling the Center to offer leadership courses as part of its public policy minor and by significantly increasing the opportunities for students to participate in co-curricular leadership development programs that are already under high demand,” said Andrew Samwick, professor of economics and director of the Rockefeller Center.

The Corrigan family gift began supporting two new initiatives at the Rockefeller Center during the 2009-2010 academic year. The first was a course that lays the foundation in the theory and practice of leadership, integrated with the Center’s public policy minor but open to all students. In later years, the gift will support advanced courses focusing on leadership.

The second initiative was the Center’s new Management and Leadership Development Program, in which students complete nine weekly modules in a given term to build their management skills and prepare them to explore and reflect on leadership issues. Some sessions are conceptual, including those on ethics and the difference between management (“doing things right”) and leadership (“doing the right thing”). Other sessions are more practical, developing skills that are essential for leadership, such as public speaking and communication, interviewing and mentorship, planning and project management, and networking.

Fritz Corrigan is the retired president and chief executive officer of The Mosaic Company, one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate and potash crop nutrients. He was the executive vice president of Cargill from 1999-2004, and previously held top management positions with the company, including president of four of its major divisions. He serves on the corporate boards of Xcel Energy, Clearwater Paper, and Edenspace, as well as nonprofit boards of the Northern Star Council Boy Scouts of America, the Western Golf Association, Children’s Cancer Research Foundation, United Way of Minneapolis, and others. He and Glenda, a Dakota Wesleyan University graduate, have given generously to the Dartmouth College Fund and support a number of nonprofit organizations, including the Guthrie Theater, Scholarship America, and the American Refugee Committee. They have three children, two of whom graduated from Dartmouth.

The original article appeared in Dartmouth News on June 2, 2009.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences