FCS Announces First Ever Endowed Teaching Chair

This summer, Friends’ Central was thrilled to announce the creation of the first ever endowed teaching chair in the School’s history. Made possible by a $1 million gift to the School’s endowment from the Daniel B. and Florence E. Green Foundation (“Green Family Foundation”), The Daniel B. and Florence E. Green Foundation Endowed Teaching Chair for Science will support innovative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education in perpetuity at FCS. 

Income from the gift will be used to enhance the School’s STEM programs, including recruitment and retention of leading faculty, expanding academic programs and course offerings in STEM, enhanced extracurricular programming, improving equipment and technology, and more. 

In addition to augmenting existing areas of strength, including biology, chemistry, physics, climate science, botany, and astronomy, FCS faculty leaders are continuously identifying key areas of potential programmatic expansion — engineering, design, robotics, and computer science, for example — and are standing by to take immediate advantage of the momentum that the Green Family Foundation will help create.

“This incredible support for Friends' Central and for our science department was inspired by the extraordinary teaching and generosity of longtime FCS Upper School science teacher, John Gruber,” said Interim Head of School Beth D. Johnson. “In funding Friends' Central's first endowed chair, the Green Family Foundation has honored John as they recognize the importance of great teaching.” 

    John Gruber at work in the field


John has been a member of the FCS faculty since 1991, teaching biology, biodiversity, botany, and other classes to Upper School students, igniting their passion for the natural world and opening up opportunities to work in the field with conservation and research organizations across North America and in the School’s back yard.

“John Gruber and the whole FCS experience have had a tremendous impact on our family. Our hope is that this gift will inspire future similar donations made to honor many other dedicated and caring FCS faculty members,” said a spokesperson from the Green Family Foundation. The Foundation considers proposals by invitation only. 

"Friends' Central is such a center of great teaching, and it’s a wonderful place to get to be a teacher,” said John in response to the announcement. “It’s a tremendous honor to have an endowed teaching chair created that lifts up the spirit of what we do as educators. It provides very real support for being in a place of passionate, curious engagement with ideas and discovery. To me, this gift also acknowledges the central place of relationship and connection in teaching; it’s as much about listening, care, and respect as it is about exploring great stories.”

In the future, when John Gruber retires, the name will be changed to The John Gruber Teaching Chair in Science Supported by the Daniel B. and Florence E. Green Foundation.

“I’m filled with gratitude for such an incredibly generous act that lifts up and enables the things that so many of us care most about as educators – teaching and learning that inspires and catalyzes growth for both students and teachers,” said John.

  • Upper School Science

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