Gift will ensure long-term future of innovative teaching center

Norris Haring found his professional calling decades ago, when he worked as a trouble-shooting consultant for public high schools and saw students dropping out in disturbing numbers. “I knew that with the right interventions, we could help many of these high school students who were failing,” he says.

For nearly 30 years, Haring led efforts to address learning challenges and develop strategies to help young people. After joining the UW’s special-education faculty, he founded and directed the Experimental Education Unit (EEU), which grew to international prominence with its innovative teaching, research and advanced graduate student training. Now, through a major planned gift, he is ensuring that this essential work will continue at the UW for years to come.

“This University gave me unlimited freedom to go in the direction I wanted: developing knowledge about the way we teach children,” says Haring. “It was an incredible opportunity.”

The planned gift from Haring, his wife, Dorothy, ’68, and their children will provide a large number of fellowships to special-education and child-development graduate students.

“With both of us being educators, Dorothy and I feel deeply that the EEU is in the best position to prepare and train future leaders in the field,” says Haring. “These students will leave the University with the most solid training and research experience available.”

“The most innovative ideas and solutions often come through graduate student projects and course work,” adds Ilene Schwartz, EEU director and chair of special education. “This gift means we’re able to recruit top-notch students and continue this important research in the education of young children.”

In recognition of Haring’s role in its development, the EEU was recently renamed the Norris and Dorothy Haring Center for Applied Research and Training in Education.