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The Cal Turner Family Foundation has committed nearly $1.2 million over five years to establish the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures at Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. The new trans-institutional center will focus on seeking creative, enduring market-based solutions to alleviate poverty. It will extend and expand the foundation’s previous partnership with Vanderbilt, which bridges the divinity, education, law, management, medical and nursing schools.
In addition to furthering the international work of Project Pyramid—a program designed for Vanderbilt graduate students to learn about and implement solutions to address global poverty—the new center is designed as a hub to coordinate social-venture activities. These include expanding student opportunities to work with global organizations on poverty issues, as well as establishing an annual conference on social ventures that will convene students, thought leaders and executives to share best practices and research.
“During the past eight years, the student-led Project Pyramid has alleviated poverty and improved the quality of life for many people,” says Cal Turner Jr., BA’62, chairman of the Cal Turner Family Foundation. “Our hope is that this gift will help students expand their efforts even more—whether providing opportunities for them to work with global organizations to find solutions for poverty, or allowing them to travel both at home and abroad to work on social-venture projects, or helping them initiate local and regional projects that address poverty in their own communities.”
Bart Victor, the Cal Turner Professor of Moral Leadership, who has worked with Project Pyramid for the past eight years, will serve as founding director of the center.