President Hurley Pledges Own Income For Poverty Program
Canisius College President John J. Hurley is among 28 leaders in higher education who have formed The Presidents’ Pledge Against Global Poverty, an initiative launched in 2012 to help end extreme poverty and focus attention on the positive impact of personal philanthropy.
The 28 charter members of the Pledge have signed a public commitment to contribute five percent or more of their personal income each year to organizations that fight the causes or effects of extreme poverty. At least half of the presidents’ contributions fund international projects; up to half may be designated for anti-poverty efforts in the U.S. The project aims to enlist presidents, chancellors, past presidents and presidents emeriti in an effort to help reach the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and further engage the next generation of global citizens in poverty solutions.
President Hurley has contributed to Catholic Medical Mission Board, Catholic Relief Services and Agros International.
“As president of Canisius College, one of the nation’s 28 Jesuit colleges and universities, I identify strongly with the goals of this initiative,” said Hurley. “We stress to our students that the purpose of a Jesuit education is to become ‘men and women for and with others.’ We teach this in our classrooms and practice it through service projects and immersion/service trips to foreign destinations. We emphasize that we need to stand in solidarity with the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed throughout the world and to take action to alleviate their suffering.”
“I am grateful that the Presidents’ Pledge has provided me with an opportunity to give our students and others a concrete example of how they might act on their responsibility to serve their fellow man and promote justice in the world.”
Ann M. Svennungsen, past president of Texas Lutheran University, initiated conversations with other higher education leaders about creating The Presidents’ Pledge Against Global Poverty.
“We are just getting started,” said Svennungsen. “University presidents hold a distinctive platform as moral leaders. Acting together, their commitment can help galvanize the collective will needed to address complex issues like extreme poverty. We look forward to growing momentum.”
The Presidents’ Pledge Against Global Poverty is aligned with Bolder Giving, a 501(c)(3) organization. It received support from a private donor and a special grant from The Henry Luce Foundation to develop the project. The charitable contributions of participating presidents are made individually and directly to organizations of their choosing that work to alleviate poverty.
Charter members of The Presidents’ Pledge Against Global Poverty represent a cross-section of leadership at public and private universities nationwide, including presidents from the institutional members of the American Council on Education, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, and other groups.