North Carolina's Governor James B. Hunt Joins Carnegie Corporation Of New York's Board Of Trustees
Governor Jim Hunt of North Carolina will join the board of trustees of Carnegie Corporation of New York as of October 2000. During four terms as governor of the state, Hunt elevated education to the highest priority and earned a national reputation as a leader in early childhood education, quality public schools, opportunities in higher education and excellence in teaching.
"Governor Hunt brings to the board his commitment to some of the Corporation's most important priorities," said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York. "He has instituted some of the most promising educational reforms in his state and knows what it takes to move ideas into the school system where children learn. I think he will make a huge contribution to our work with his insights, his understanding of political realities and his experience on both state and national levels. We are very lucky to have him."
Governor Hunt was first elected to the Governor's office in 1977 when he led his state's education reform efforts. At that time he set up the primary reading program, reduced class size, created dropout prevention programs and established the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. Education was an issue he championed early in his career. When he served as Lieutenant Governor from 1973 until 1977, Hunt pushed to make kindergarten available to every North Carolina child.
"Education is our future—it's everything," Governor Hunt has said. "We must start with the basics for every child: quality and early childhood education, a safe school, a good teacher and an opportunity for higher education. It's a vision I've worked for during my four terms as governor and it's a mission I look forward to pursuing with the foundation community."
Under Hunt's leadership, North Carolina has made improving education a top priority, including early childhood education, holding students accountable, raising standards and pay for teachers, making schools safer and building strong community support. As a result of his efforts, North Carolina is recognized as the state making the most progress in improving its public schools. During his years as governor, Hunt established a number of initiatives that gained national attention including: Smart Start, which involves communities to bring child care and health care to thousands of children; SOS, the after-school crime prevention effort linking volunteers with troubled youths; Work First, which moved 61,000 families from welfare to work; and the Governor's Crackdown for Children, one of the nation's toughest crackdowns on deadbeat parents to collect back child support.
Hunt is the son of a schoolteacher and grew up on a farm in North Carolina. He earned a B.S. in agricultural education and M.S. in agricultural economics at North Carolina State University. In 1964 he earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Governor Hunt helped establish and still chairs the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that is working to boost excellence in teaching. "Carnegie is focusing on reforming teacher education in the United States and it's clear that Governor Hunt can help us shape our work on this critical issue. Too many teachers are unprepared to walk into classrooms ready and able to lead the next generation. If this situation is not reversed, the country faces a crisis of enormous proportions," said Gregorian. Hunt also chaired the National Education Goals Panel which monitors the progress of "Goals 2000," an achievement plan created by the nation's governors.
During his career, Hunt has been recognized with many prestigious awards, including the James B. Conant Award and the 1999 Education Press Award, honoring him as the public leader in America contributing most significantly to public educational progress. His innovations in education gained him the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education. Additionally, Governor Hunt was recently named co-chair of the National Commission on Asia in the Schools, the preeminent institution dedicated to ensuring that today's students are equipped with the knowledge and cross-cultural skills necessary to deal effectively with Asia.
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in the world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.7 billion at the end of the fiscal year, September 30, 1999. The Corporation awards grants of more than $60 million a year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development, democracy, and special projects.