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Honor Dr. Blasey as an Educator

$30,936 of $120,000 goal

Raised by 828 people in 19 days
On September 27th, 2018,  Dr. Christine Blasey Ford (who uses “Blasey” professionally) carried on her career as a scholar and educator, by providing lessons in civic responsibility, courage, and using one’s knowledge to speak truth to power. Since 1995, at least, when she published her dissertation, Dr. Blasey has been engaged in research and teaching.

To honor her, particularly in her professional capacity, this is a campaign to raise funds to endow an academic chair (professorship) and/or scholarships, to be named so as to recognize Dr. Blasey.

I do not know Dr. Blasey and I am doing this on my own initiative. I will attempt to confer with her about where to locate and how to title any endowment we raise. I began this campaign on September 27th,  so that all who  can donate or publicize could immediately  demonstrate the same commitment to education Dr. Blasey so clearly has and to show our appreciation for her commitment and integrity.

I previously sponsored a capped fundraiser to assist Dr. Blasey with her security expenses. She has access to the funds and I understand she will draw upon them when she has the opportunity to do something other than hire security and prepare for hearings. Because I am not aware of her having need for further financial assistance at this time, I decided to fundraise to recognize her personal and professional accomplishments, to make sure she knows people see her as far more than "just" a victim or even survivor of sexual assault and as more than a witness in a Senate hearing.

Since starting the campaign, I have learned that $100,000 is a starting figure for a fitting academic endowment. To endow, a faculty position in Dr. Blasey's honor could cost as much as $4 million. While I do not foresee this particular campaign as achieving that sort of result, I have set our goal at the low end, because I believe we can raise at least $125,000. As of this writing (October 3, 2018) I am in contact with a few institutions that could suitably house whatever we raise in this campaign. Once details of a formal endowment are arranged, I plan and hope to publicize how future donors can contribute to it directly. In the meantime, gifts to this preliminary round are vital and much appreciated.
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~Great progress on arranging an academic endowment to honor Dr. Ford as an educator~

I have narrowed to three the serious candidates for the institutional home for an academic endowment to honor Christine Blasey Ford, bearing in mind feedback from those of you who have contacted me and the fit between institutional retirements, what we have raised so far and our objectives. I have also taken into consideration Dr. Blakey’s specialization in trauma psychology, an area of research and practice that encompasses survivors of sexual violence and abuse, some of whom suffer post-traumatic stress disorder as well as depression and anxiety.

Next week I have appointments to to pursue the most promising of the possibilities. Next steps include reaching a tentative or draft gift agreement, which will specify the time period in which an endowment must be funded so as to be named for Dr. Blasey and the fiduciary and other legal obligations of the institution that will administer the fund. Once we come to a satisfactory draft agreement, it will then be reviewed for final approval by relevant senior officers at the chosen institution. Upon this approval and my own final review, funds raised here will be used as a “downpayment” on the full target. After arranging this downpayment, I will announce details and specifics of the formal endowment campaign, including how and where new contributions can be made.

Also, over the past week, I have been in touch with business, professional, and civic leaders, especially in the Palo Alto and Washington DC metro areas to obtain their help in publicizing this fundraiser. People have been responsive, encouraging, and actively helpful.

Together, we will get this endowment launched. I look forward to sharing specifics with you as soon as I am able. Thank you again for your enthusiasm and generosity. It fortifies me, and I hope you as well, to know that the skill and courage Dr. Blasey demonstrated by testifying will be commemorated in a lasting way.
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I have spent the past week researching the right institution and program for our academic endowment to honor Christine Blasey Ford. Below are my findings and conclusions so far. (This may be more detail than people actually want, so feel free to skim.)

Answers to a common questions: 1) Colleges and universities will not permit endowments named for current faculty, so this is why anywhere Dr. Blasey teaches now cannot house what I have in mind. 2) I cannot foresee an appropriate time in the near future when it would be appropriate to intrude on Dr. Blasey’s privacy to ask her to weigh in. My aim is to honor her for her service to the country and to education and in no way to burden her.

Considerations bearing on where to place the endowment:

Colleges and universities do want funds but from their perspective they would like unrestricted gifts not tied to particular purposes or named programs. Of course they realize that they have to accommodate donors’ preferences too. So, they create thresholds for opportunities to created named endowments for scholarships or research funds. If we can clear $100,000 here, that provides the opportunity to found a lasting program named for Dr. Blasey. So I will push hard to make that goal.

Because I know where Dr. Blasey attended college and did her postgraduate degrees, those institutions may be good choices, especially if they offer programs that relate to women’s interests, especially women and politics or women and leadership or programs related to stopping sexual assault, especially among adolescents.

Because Dr. Blasey chose to build her life in California it may make sense to situate an endowment at a California institution with a fitting program even if Dr. Blasey herself did not attend that institution.

It may make sense to base the endowment at an institution outside of California if the fit between institution, program and our purpose is good and the institution has a strong commitment to and the ability to support the endowment logistically.

Bottom line: I have been communicating with a range of institutions based on the foregoing considerations. In addition to these, the staying power and development capacity of any institution are relevant. Various people at particular institutions and donors to this campaign with expertise in educational philanthropy have been of great help so far. Ultimately, I will have to sign a formal “gift agreement”, which will specify the title of the endowment, its purpose, and other material aspects. I look forward to announcing the formal arrangements at the appropriate time.

In conclusion: my gratitude to those contributing, amplifying, offering concrete ideas continues to grow. Doing this with all of you makes doing this that much more worthwhile.

With regard,
Heidi
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Please see updated story page for progress report on arranging institutional home for endowment to honor Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as an educator.
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~~Seeking input from donors on home for academic endowment to honor Dr. Blasey Ford as an educator~~

I am continuing to explore possible homes for an academic endowment to honor Dr. Blasey as an educator. This process requires a bit of time because of the need to find the right fit between institutional needs and requirements and funding quality research and scholarship in a field relevant to Dr. Blasey’s professional career and now as a public educator.

I am considering support for biostatistics, Dr. Blasey’s research speciality or support for the study of justice and civil and civil society or support for research into women and politics. If you have given to the fund or do give to the fund and you would like to suggest a particular institution or academic center, please email me via GoFundMe with your ideas. I cannot promise your idea will be implemented, but I’m looking to gather a wide pool of possibilities before making a final decision.

Thank you for any input, support and amplification of the campaign.
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$30,936 of $120,000 goal

Raised by 828 people in 19 days
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