Dean Emeritus Bangert-Drowns Endows Scholarship for Diversity in Teaching

Dean Emeritus Bangert-Drowns Endows Scholarship for Diversity in Teaching

Robert & Diana Bangert-Drowns with a photo of Bob's uncle, Fr. Martin

The School of Education is proud to announce the Bangert-Drowns Endowment for Diversity in Teaching and Educational Leadership which will support African American students in pursuit of a career in P-12 teaching.

Earlier this year, the School of Education received a special gift from Dean Emeritus Robert Bangert-Drowns and his wife Diana Bangert-Drowns, Esq. The couple created the Bangert-Drowns Endowment for Diversity in Teaching and Educational Leadership with the intent to support the presence of African Americans in educational leadership, primarily leadership in the teaching profession, but secondarily, leadership in educational supervision, administration, research, and policy.

This generous gift extends Dean Bangert-Drowns’ deep commitment, leadership, and legacy in the area of educational equity. “We are deeply grateful for Dean Bangert-Drowns’ enduring commitment to promoting educational equity and diversifying the teacher education pipeline”, said interim dean Jason Lane. “He consistently has pushed the SOE community to actively address issue of equity and diversity and this gift from him and Diana is an important act of dedication toward moving us forward as a national leader in this space.”

“Research indicates that there are powerful academic and personal gains when children of color have at least one teacher of color in their school careers,” says Dr. Bangert-Drowns.  “Everyone benefits—students, communities, schools, colleagues—from a diverse teaching corps.  Diana and I are acutely aware of unjust social inequities resulting from racism.  Our Scholarship for Diversity in Teaching won’t change the world, but it will help to change lives, and we are overjoyed to be able to support the mission of the School of Education and our aspiring students with this endowment.”

The Bangert-Drownses are eager to meet with the inaugural recipient of their new scholarship, Raven Scott.  Raven is a student in the combined bachelor's and master's program in Human Development and Special Education and Literacy.  They look forward to an upcoming Zoom meeting so they can learn more about Raven's experiences and her goals.

The Bangert-Drownses’ donation was inspired in part by the legacy of Bob’s uncle, Fr. Martin Bangert.  Returning from a distinguished tour of duty as a bombardier in World War II, Bob’s uncle was ordained a Catholic priest in 1950 and dedicated his work to the spiritual, educational, and physical welfare of African-American communities in Emporia, Virginia; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Americus, Georgia; Albany, Georgia; and Greenville, South Carolina over 23 years.  During his time in Georgia, he opened one of the first integrated schools in the state.  He and his parishes were targets of racist attacks (including gun and arson attacks), but he was a great admirer of Martin Luther King and took part in many civil rights actions.  Around 1976, Fr. Martin volunteered to serve in parishes in Kingston and Highgate, Jamaica.  Father Martin presided over Bob and Diana’s wedding almost 40 years ago.

Robert Bangert-Drowns served as the eighth dean of the School of Education from 2009-2018.  Prior to his deanship, he had been the School's associate dean for Academic Affairs from 2003 to 2008 and then appointed acting dean for one-year. His tenure as a member of the faculty of the School extends over three decades in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice and the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology.