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College of Education > News and Publications > News: Jan-March 2014 > King Family Supports Anti-Bullying Efforts

King Family Supports Anti-Bullying Efforts

A portion of a recent gift to Penn State made by Jeffery King and his family is helping support an anti-bullying project in the College of Education.
King Family Supports Anti-Bullying Efforts

JoLynn Carney and Richard Hazler

UNIVERSITY PARK—Penn State alumnus, Jeffery L. King and his wife, Cynthia, have made a $3 million gift to Penn State, $1 million of which will create the King Family Impact Endowment in the College of Education. This endowment will support intervention programs and research efforts that are focused on social issues in elementary and secondary schools, specifically combatting bullying in schools and communities.

Dean David H. Monk said that the King family recognizes the powerful impact schools have on intellectual and social growth and is deeply committed to building school and community environments that nurture and protect children.

“The Kings are impressed with the partnerships being developed between the College of Education and a number of schools to develop and test new approaches to the prevention of bullying and the growth of productive social relations,” said Monk. “We are very grateful for their support and look forward to demonstrating the success we are all deeply committed to achieving.”

The program, titled Project: TEAM, includes teaching students leadership and team-building skills, empowering both children and adults in school to contribute to a physically and emotionally safe environment, and involving parents and the community in projects that support anti-bullying efforts. It was developed in consultation with JoLynn Carney and Richard Hazler, both faculty members in the College, who have been working on the problem of bullying since the early 1990s, and College of Education school counseling alumni.

“Students cannot focus on learning when they are anxiously thinking about being bullied, how to avoid it or how to maintain their abuse of someone,” said Carney. “Project: TEAM is a program that brings together all aspects of the school and surrounding community into common efforts at reducing bullying, increasing the quality of the school environment and providing a sense of teamwork to effectively deal with student social, psychological and academic needs.”

Monk added, “The King family’s leadership in this area is outstanding and has prompted the College to recruit new faculty members with interests in research and demonstrations of what can be done to prevent bullying throughout educational institutions.”

“My Penn State education, both scholastic and social, has been invaluable in the successes I have achieved over my lifetime,” said Jeffery King.

King earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Penn State in 1967 and is co-founder of National Properties, Inc., a real-estate investment, property management and development business based in the Great Valley Corporate Park area of Malvern, Pennsylvania.

“My family and I are committed to continuing the tradition of giving back, started years ago by others who had the foresight to do so.”

--by Kevin Sliman (December 2013)