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Order of the First State

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UDs Dan Rich honored with Delawares top award

 
Delaware Secretary of Education Steven Godowsky and UD's Dan Rich

Delaware Secretary of Education Steven Godowsky presents UD's Dan Rich (right) with the Order of the First State, the highest honor for meritorious service granted by Delaware's governor, at the Vision Conference on Monday, Nov. 14.

Dan Rich, University Professor of Public Policy at the University of Delaware, has been awarded the Order of the First State by Gov. Jack Markell, in recognition of his work as a longtime champion of education in Delaware.

The Order of the First State is Delawares highest award.

State Secretary of Education Steve Godowsky presented the award at the Vision Coalition of Delawares ninth annual conference, held at UDs Clayton Hall on Monday, Nov. 14. Markell was traveling and unable to attend.

Godowsky said Rich, a former provost and dean, has been a pillar at the University of Delaware for over 45 years.

Hes worked with an inextinguishable commitment to progress and a better outcome for all our kids, Godowsky said. For decades, he has invested himself deeply in the success of not only the University but also the greater community here in Delaware.

Rich has served as chair of the Delaware Early Childhood Council, crafting the state's plan for a comprehensive early childhood system. At UD, Godowski noted, Rich developed the Commitment to Delawareans and redesigned the Associate in Arts Program to expand access to higher education to more Delawareans.

He also was instrumental in working to support what is now the Wilmington Education Improvement Commission, a public policy advocacy initiative on behalf of low-income students statewide. That work began when Tony Allen a former student of Richs who earned bachelors and doctoral degrees at UD and serves on the Board of Trustees was appointed chair of Markells citizen advisory committee on education in Wilmington.

Rich, Godowsky said, marshaled University resources to support the project and lay the framework for Strengthening Wilmington Education: An Action Agenda, published in 2015, and Solutions for Delaware Schools, published in spring 2016.

That effort has turned into the most substantive, grassroots public policy advocacy initiative in a generation and resulted in the first legislative actions on behalf of low-income Delaware students since the U.S. Supreme Courts landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Godowsky said.

Rich, former dean and provost, serves as a senior policy fellow in the University's Institute for Public Administration. He was recently appointed director of UD's Community Engagement Initiative, which will focus on what makes every community strong: improving public education, community health and environmental quality; encouraging economic development and innovation; and expanding arts and cultural programs that enrich quality of life.

Originally published by UDaily on November 18, 2016. Article by Ann Manser. Photo by Sarah Pragg.

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Order of the First State
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