The gift will establish Batten Bicentennial Professorships in Early Childhood Education for two emerging and two distinguished scholars, as well as the Batten Bicentennial Fellowships in Early Childhood Education program, which will support two graduate fellows. Batten previously provided support for the university's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Darden School of Business.
"This truly transformative gift will accelerate our efforts to advance research and program development, making a global impact on the quality of education offered to young children," said Bob Pianta, dean of the Curry School. "Jane has been a visionary leader in improving education for preschoolers in Virginia. Through the support that this gift provides, the Curry School will be uniquely positioned as a worldwide leader of early childhood education research and policy."
"I'm delighted to support an initiative that's so close to my heart," said Batten. "I've long been a passionate champion of early childhood education, and it is fulfilling to provide the Curry School with resources that will enable it to generate new knowledge in the field."