Holy Cross Announces $3 Million Gift for J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World

Founder of J.D. Power & Assoc. helps grow center at Holy Cross to provide students with real-world experience
January 29th, 2018 by 

J.D. Power III '53 talks with students during a campus visit in 2013
J.D. Power III '53 talks with students during a campus visit in 2013. Photo by Rob Carlin

College of the Holy Cross has received a $3 million gift from the family of alumnus and pioneer in consumer research and information, J.D. Power III ’53, in support of the College’s Center for Liberal Arts in the World. In recognition of this transformative gift, the Center will be renamed the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World.

Established in 2016 by Provost Margaret Freije and led by Director Daniel Klinghard, the Center for Liberal Arts in the World is the hub for Holy Cross’ experiential learning programs, including internships, student research, community- and project-based learning. The $3 million gift from the Power family’s foundation, the Kenrose Kitchen Table Foundation, will enable Holy Cross to enhance and significantly expand experiential learning opportunities that enable students to integrate their academic experiences with opportunities to apply their learning in real-world contexts beyond the classroom. Students who participate in these opportunities often find that the experience helps them to clarify their career aspirations while developing important transferable skills that will help them achieve those aspirations.

While approximately 60 percent of Holy Cross students already participate in experiential learning, the Power family’s gift will accelerate the College’s efforts to increase available opportunities and engage all Holy Cross students in some form of experiential learning. This gift will be invested in four key initiatives:

  • Expanding Opportunities for Students: Among these opportunities are The Ignite Fund, which helps underwrite project-based learning fellowships; Research Associateships, which pair students with faculty projects; Summer Internships and funded Summer Student Research positions; Mock Trial and Moot Court programs; the Donelan Office for Community-Based Learning, connects academic learning with community engagement; and Semester Away, the college’s popular program which enables students to study in New York or Washington, D.C.
  • Reducing Barriers to Participation: The gift will allow the J.D. Power Center to expand programs—including an alumni speaker series and alumni site visit series, as well as internship tutorials— aimed explicitly at recruiting low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students who might not otherwise have access to or be aware of such experiences.
  • Focusing on Worcester: Power is a proud native of Worcester, and this gift will be used to expand research and experiential learning opportunities in the city of Worcester to allow students to engage more deeply with local agencies and organizations.
  • Developing Appropriate Technology: The gift will also be used to further develop and acquire appropriate technology designed to connect students with experiential learning opportunities.

“Dave Power is a visionary, both as a businessman and a philanthropist, and we are grateful for his generous support of Holy Cross and the Center that now bears his name,” said Holy Cross Provost Margaret Freije. “At Holy Cross, we expect our students to learn from a variety of experiences that take place in and outside the classroom. This gift recognizes the value of a liberal arts education in preparing students to fully realize their potential in their careers and lives.”

The J.D. Power Center is part of a broader initiative to help our students make connections between their interests and strengths, their liberal arts education and their post-graduate goals. Holy Cross takes a distinctive approach by infusing structured opportunities for reflection and discernment into all aspects of the student experience. The goal for all Holy Cross students is to develop not simply a career plan, but a larger sense of purpose or vocational calling, in order to lead lives of meaning and impact.

“As an alum, I am extraordinarily proud of the impact College of the Holy Cross graduates have had on the world, and my family and I are thrilled to be in the position to support the college’s mission to develop men and women for others,” Power said. “I always felt that my Holy Cross education broadened my perspective, and helped me understand the importance of seeking truth and questioning the status quo. I’m proud to help the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World extend that same opportunity to future generations of Holy Cross graduates.”

Power, a Worcester native and founder of the global marketing information firm J.D. Power and Associates, is a 1953 graduate of the College. Power’s father, uncle, brother, daughter, and grandson are Holy Cross graduates. His daughter Susan Power Curtin ‘93 is a member of the College’s board of trustees. He and his family are longtime supporters of the College, having previously established the Power Family Scholarship to provide assistance to Holy Cross students from Worcester County, and the J.D. Power Worcester-Based Internships Fund to help fund paid internships for Holy Cross students at Worcester-area organizations.

For additional information, please contact College Marketing and Communications at 508-793-2419.

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