The Morgridge Family
Partnership Development and Technology Infusion
In May 1995, former chair of the board of Cisco Systems, John P. Morgridge, and his wife, Tashia, donated $1.7 million to establish the LD and Ruth G. Morgridge Endowed Chair in Teacher Education and Preparation in NIU’s College of Education. The Chair honors John Morgridge’s parents, both of whom were 1915 graduates of what was then known as the Northern Illinois Normal School. Ruth Morgridge went on to teach in Sterling, Ill., while her husband became principal at Dixon High School.
The LD and Ruth G. Morgridge Endowed Chair emphasizes innovation and advancement in teacher education, particularly in relation to the integration of technology into classroom practice. The first two Morgridge Chairs, Drs. Donna Wiseman and Sharon Smaldino, focused on building relationships with school districts and developing Partnership Projects aimed at infusing technology into K-12 and college classrooms. Since the Morgridge Endowed Chair’s inception, the number of NIU partner schools has more than tripled, from eight originally to 25 today. And the reach has expanded too, from districts in and around DeKalb to districts and schools in Aurora, Glenview, Chicago and with the creation of the COE’s Educate U.S. program, Houston, Texas.