Alumna Marcy Carsey Gives $20 Million to University of New Hampshire

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

UNH to Launch New Graduate School for Public Policy
UNH news release featured image

Marcy Carsey '66 has made a gift of $20 million to the University of New Hampshire that will be used to create a new graduate school for public policy.

DURHAM, N.H. - Emmy-winning television producer Marcy Carsey '66 has made a gift of $20 million to the University of New Hampshire to support the creation of the new Carsey School for Public Policy. This gift is the second largest in the university's history.    

"It is crucial that we prepare leaders for the governmental, private, and nonprofit sectors who can translate rigorous research into effective policies and practices to solve the complex issues of our world," Carsey said. "The school will educate and invigorate young people to serve. It gives me great pleasure to express my appreciation and to provide a world-class program in public policy to UNH students."

The Carsey School will be distinguished from other public policy schools in that faculty and students will not work within a single discipline, such as political science or public administration. Its work will involve sociologists and environmental scientists, health care experts and economists, demographers and foresters. It will train future leaders, both in the United States and around the world, to use research to solve problems. A national search for the school's first director will begin soon.

"The Carsey School will make a significant contribution to the university across colleges and campuses," said Bruce Mallory, professor of education and interim director of the Carsey Institute. "We hope to become a hub of knowledge and partnerships, where researchers from liberal arts talk to their counterparts in natural resources and public health, and together they help create a better understanding for policymakers."

"This gift will transform the future leadership of our country," said UNH President Mark Huddleston. "Marcy's support for this interdisciplinary approach to public policy is forward thinking and crucial to our advancement as an institution. Together we will develop the informed and engaged leaders our nation needs."

Carsey's gift comes on the heels of the largest fundraising year in the university's history. The UNH Foundation raised $35.8 million in fiscal year 2013, beating the previous record of $29.9 million set in 2002.

"Marcy's confidence in this institution sends a clear message as we work toward the launch of a comprehensive campaign that UNH is an outstanding investment in the future of our region, state, and beyond," Huddleston said.

The gift builds on Carsey's May 2002 gift of $7.5 million that established the Carsey Institute at UNH. The Carsey Institute conducts national and regional policy research on vulnerable children, youth, and families and on sustainable community development and provides policy makers and practitioners timely, independent resources needed to effect change in their communities.

The Carsey School will leverage the university's diverse instructional, research, and outreach activities as well as the existing work of the Carsey Institute, and make more visible UNH's expertise in policy-related fields.

Marcy Carsey has been named one of the 50 greatest women in radio and television and is recognized as one of the most successful American businesswomen in or out of show business. She began her show business career as an NBC tour guide in 1966. She then worked her way up to general program executive for comedy programming at ABC-TV in 1974. Carsey went out on her own in 1980 to pursue independent production, and a year later teamed with Tom Werner to form Carsey-Werner and produced shows like "The Cosby Show" and "Roseanne."

A native of Weymouth, Mass., and a 1966 cum laude graduate in English literature from UNH, Carsey is the recipient of the UNH Alumni Association's highest honor -- the Pettee Medal. A founding member of the UNH Foundation Board of Directors, Carsey has worked tirelessly to ensure its success. She received an honorary doctorate from UNH in 1988.

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.

Marcy Carsey '66 has made a gift of $20 million to the University of New Hampshire that will be used to create a new graduate school for public policy.

Marcy Carsey '66 and UNH President Mark Huddleston discuss her gift of $20 million that will be used to create the Carsey School for Public Policy.