“Creating exceptional environments for 21st-century learning involves not only having the appropriate tools but the right setting.”
Cydney and Tom Marsico
Within Ruffatto Hall — the stunning new home of the Morgridge College of Education — there will be a new center dedicated to advancing the research and results of early childhood education. It developed from the shared vision of two women who have come to believe this issue must jump to the forefront of education advancement and policy.
The women are Cydney Marsico (BSBA ’78, MBA ’80) and Ginger Maloney, former dean of the Morgridge College.
“They share a passion for early learning,” says Maureen Silva, associate vice chancellor and campaign director for University Advancement. “They both follow research in this area, which increasingly shows that we must reach children before they get to school, possibly preventing kids from being behind their whole academic lives.”
Thus, with a $1.5 million gift from the Cydney and Tom (MBA ’79) Marsico Family Foundation, the Marsico Institute for Early Learning and Literacy was born. The gift provided both seed money for the program and state-of-the-art space in the college’s new building. Maloney is now the institute’s director.
“Creating exceptional environments for 21st-century learning involves not only having the appropriate tools but the right setting,” says Cydney Marsico, explaining the foundation’s commitment to both the program and the facility. “With the University’s commitment to the institute and to the other incredible education programs, it was time to construct the finest, state-of-the-art facility for staff, students and the community. We are proud to be a part of the new Morgridge College of Education.”
The goal for the Marsico Institute is to become a hub of early childhood research and policy analysis for the state of Colorado and beyond.
Maloney says that she feels honored to be not only working on a mission she considers so important but also to be running a program carrying the Marsico name.
“The Marsicos are philanthropists in the truest sense,” Maloney says. “They want to advance important social issues, they stay engaged and they care about how their gift is working. It is fun to work with donors who are so committed.”
Cydney Marsico says that the feeling is mutual.
“We knew the only person for the job was Dr. Ginger Maloney!” she says. “Ginger is a leader, innovator, and collaborator. She also is smart, engaging and well respected. We believe the institute will be an excellent resource for parents and teachers, researchers and legislators, and many other early childhood education stakeholders. Creating positive outcomes for young children is truly what the institute is all about.”