For Immediate Release
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Georgian Court University to Launch Global Transformation Initiative

Major Gift from Conair Funds Program Focused on International Commerce, Culture

Lakewood, N.J., May 31, 2012—A major gift from Conair, one of the world’s most successful manufacturers of health and beauty products and kitchen and electronic appliances, will provide initial funding for Georgian Court University’s Global Transformation Initiative, a program designed to strengthen GCU’s e-commerce curriculum and expand opportunities for cultural exchange.

The undisclosed gift will make a significant difference in preparing students to be innovative leaders in industry and compassionate citizens in the world.

“Conair’s generosity reflects the confidence and positive feedback we have received from our friends in business and from entrepreneurs who understand how critical it is to prepare today’s students to become worldwide leaders,” says GCU President Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D.

The gift from Conair allows Georgian Court to build on its current academic programs in business and world languages while expanding opportunities for students to collaborate and study with their peers in other parts of the world.

“Ultimately, we expect them to use the skills and experiences of the Global Transformation Initiative to give back to society and the world economy,” says President Jeffries. As part of the initiative, GCU will establish an international collaboration center, bolster its e-commerce curriculum, and create faculty innovation grants. The university, which recently sent students to Europe for an 11-day academic tour of Ireland, Italy, and France, will also use some of the donated funds to expand international learning experiences for its students.

“This donation will help provide them with experiential opportunities, real or virtual, to develop high-level technology skills and profound intercultural knowledge,” says Cynthia Whitney, President Jeffries’ special assistant for advancement. “With the Global Transformation Initiative, students will hone the skills they need to become competitive leaders and true global citizens.”

Conair’s gift comes on the heels of the university’s May 15 announcement that Georgian Court is becoming fully coeducational. After more than a century of maintaining its historic Women’s College, GCU will admit men to all of its academic programs—day and evening—beginning this fall. By Fall 2013, Georgian Court will offer housing and athletic programs for men.

The shift to coeducation and the cultivation of major gifts are among several strategic efforts to expand GCU’s reach as a leading, regional university. Georgian Court also is incorporating research-driven changes in recruitment and admissions, academic offerings, and curriculum requirements. At the same time, the university continues to serve as a resource for Catholic education and intellectual tradition while promoting the values of the Sisters of Mercy, GCU’s sponsoring organization.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves more than 2,500 students of all faiths and backgrounds in both undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at One Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge and at the New Jersey Coastal Communiversity in Wall.

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