"I saw this gift as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of thousands of schoolchildren in Connecticut and the nation." Ray Neag '56
In 1999, the University of Connecticut's School of Education was renamed to honor Ray Neag, a visionary
and savvy businessman who believed investing in education would yield the greatest of returns: a brighter
future for our children.
Mr. Neag's generosity to the UConn School of Education began in 1996 with a $1.6 million endowment to
establish both the Neag Chair in Gifted and Talented Education, held by Joseph Renzulli, and the Neag
Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.
Believing that education is society's "great equalizer," Mr. Neag donated another $21 million to the School
of Education in 1999. As part of the UConn 2000 rebuilding program, the state matched his gift with another
$3.4 million. At the time, he described his generosity as "a strategic investment" in the School of Education
and its carefully crafted plan to become one of the nation's top schools of education in the country. "I'm a product of public education," he proudly stated while announcing his intentions. "My gift to the School
of Education is a way to acknowledge and repay what teachers and schools have done for me."
His gift, at the time, was both the largest any school of education in the country had ever received and the
largest gift to a public university in New England. His substantial investment was the catalyst in the
School's transformation from respectable to renowned.