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Named professorship established for the School of Education

Sue '76 and John '75 GerdelmanThe university recently announced a $4 million commitment from Sue ’76 and John ’75 Gerdelman, a large portion of which will support Tribe Athletics. Included in their investment is the Gerdelman Family Professorship for the School of Education. This endowment establishes the first term professorship designated exclusively for School of Education mid-career faculty.

Sue majored in elementary education and taught for six years in Washington State. Since then she has committed her life to a full range of leadership roles serving her community and her alma mater, including an appointment to the William & Mary Board of Visitors. Sue believes the skills she developed as a teacher have continued to benefit her in the many professional and volunteer positions she’s held.

“We recognize the positive impact faculty members have in preparing and inspiring the next generation of educational leaders and this was an opportunity for us to support teaching excellence at the School of Education,” Sue said.

Following the family’s example of lifelong engagement with William & Mary, their daughter Emily Gerdelman Ridjaneck, a 2007 graduate with degrees in psychology and elementary education, now serves as chair of the School of Education Development Board.

“The Gerdelman family has an amazing commitment to education. They demonstrate this through their leadership, service, and generosity. In each of these ways, they make a positive impact on our school and they are highly valued partners in our mission to transform students, schools, and communities. We are extremely grateful to them for this meaningful gift to support our talented faculty as well as their commitment to our work. John, Sue, and Emily understand that a high quality education translates into a stronger nation and better world,” School of Education Dean Spencer Niles said.

The Gerdelmans have been longtime supporters and leaders at William & Mary.

Sue and John received the Alumni Medallion, the most prestigious award given to alumni for their leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to William & Mary. John received his Alumni Medallion in 2005, and Sue was honored with her award in 2011.