Andrew Carnegie Continues to Support his Hometown, Dunfermline

FORGING THE FUTURE

Andrew Carnegie Continues to Support his Hometown, Dunfermline

On May 17th, 1848, Andrew Carnegie ventured beyond the borders of his hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland, for the second time in his life. That day his family set sail from the Broomlielaw of Glasgow and began a seven-week voyage to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Carnegie wouldn’t return to his hometown for 14 years, but he never forgot his Scottish roots, and it is clear that Dunfermline maintained a special place in his heart. In 1874, Dunfermline received Carnegie’s first public gift, and nine years later it became home to one of Carnegie’s first storied public library buildings.

Upon acquiring his wealth and retiring from business, Carnegie set about in earnest to distribute his fortune. His most significant contribution, both in money and enduring influence, was the establishment of several trusts.

While many of these trusts focus on national and global initiatives, Carnegie created the Dunfermline Trust in 1903 with a specifically local focus. Endowed with roughly $4 million, the Dunfermline Trust had the sole mission of helping Andrew Carnegie’s small hometown meet the needs of its people.

Today, the Trust has become tightly woven into the community of Dunfermline and distributes targeted grants which address issues of health, poverty and general wellbeing in the community.

An important initiative for the Trust is a focus on mitigating loneliness among seniors in Dunfermline. Just this year, Carnegie Dunfermline Trust collaborated with Contact the Elderly, a national charity, whose volunteers organize monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for elderly community members. Contact the Elderly has two chapters in Dunfermline, each with a dozen members who are mostly in their 80s and 90s. With the funding provided by the Trust, members of the two chapters – who would not ordinarily meet – have had the opportunity to connect and take a nostalgic trip on a steam train to the historic Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.

The Trust also works with youth communities. “Where one generation might benefit from a steam train excursion, another might be better off with the very latest in classroom technology,” said Nora Rundell, Chief Executive of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust. “For example, working with the virtual reality and gaming expertise of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Abertay University in Scotland, we have created a teaching module targeted at Dunfermline’s younger residents focused on the life, times and legacy of the Scottish-born American philanthropist.”

The educational game, entitled “The Legacy,” provides students with a fun learning opportunity, and a chance to revise what has been covered in the classroom. The comprehensive module illustrates the impact of small philanthropic giving and kind actions and provides schools with free educational tools, including class presentations, activity sheets and a virtual reality computer game modelled on the Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum.

The educational program is specific to the local curriculum for the time being, but the Trust is planning to further revise the game and associated materials for use in other school systems in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and beyond.

“It’s exciting to see our ideas take shape all over the world,” said Nora Rundell. “Our primary focus, however, is to ensure the lives of all our residents in Dunfermline are bettered in every way we can. Today, thanks to Andrew Carnegie’s endowment, Cairneyhill football players have the means to practice outside, the patients at Queen Margaret Hospice can seek comfort in a hospice garden, and children can benefit from a newly relocated music therapy studio. We’re here to help the people of Dunfermline, today and tomorrow, live their best lives.”

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Peace Palace: International SDG 16 House

FORGING THE FUTURE

Peace Palace: International SDG 16 House

At the end of the 19th century, the last Russian Tsar, Nicolas II, initiated an international peace conference with the aim of stopping an ongoing series of wars in Europe. In need of a neutral venue for peace talks he approached Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands to host the conference. Consistent with its policy of neutrality, the Dutch government agreed to serve as host for the peace conference.

Many issues were discussed, but one crucial notion followed from the conference: Peace through Law.

Humanity would be saved from warfare, loss of lives and goods, if battles were no longer fought on the battlefield, but in the courtroom. A Permanent Court of Arbitration and international laws would be established to prevent political conflicts from becoming violent. To host this court, a new building would be constructed to serve as a symbol of world peace – the Peace Palace.

In need of funding, Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands wrote a letter to Andrew Carnegie. He responded favorably to the call and donated $1.5 million to construct the Peace Palace. To manage his donation, he created the Carnegie Foundation in 1903. The Peace Palace opened its doors in 1913, a day Carnegie described in his diaries as “the happiest day” of his life.

A century after Andrew Carnegie’s passing, the Carnegie Foundation still owns and manages the Peace Palace. Today it continues its mission as a “temple of peace and justice,” to prevent conflicts, to solve conflicts peacefully, and to promote world peace.

Along with the Permanent Court of Arbitration established by the First Hague Peace Conference of 1899, the Peace Palace also houses the International Court of Justice. This Court is the main juridical organ of the United Nations, making the Peace Palace the only building outside New York that hosts a principal organ of the United Nations, mentioned in the UN Charter.

In September, 2017, the Carnegie Foundation signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Charter of The Netherlands, thereby committing to the promotion of progress on the internationally agreed development goals. A central issue to these goals is the promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies – United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16.

“These goals provide an excellent framework for dialogues on the future of the world. Especially ground-breaking in the SDG’s is that a specific goal is set to promote Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions: Goal 16,” said Erik de Baedts, Director of the Carnegie Foundation- Peace Palace.

In September 2018, the Carnegie Foundation – Peace Palace took another step in its commitment to the SDGs. During the Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations event series Hugo von Meijenfeldt, SDG Coordinator of the Netherlands, joined Erik de Baedts and Carnegie Foundation Chairman Dr. Bernard Bot on stage to announce the Peace Palace as the international SDG 16 House.

As the international SDG 16 House, the Peace Palace will serve as the official convening location for dialogue and events on the promotion of the SDGs, including the integration of SDG 16 with the other sixteen SDGs. The Peace Palace has committed itself to promoting progress on these imperatives, and to linking the sixteenth SDG, “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions,” with the other SDG goals such as No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Quality Education, Gender Equality, Clean Water, and Climate Action.

“The Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations are the most important goals that the world must work on. The Peace Palace is an historic place, a place full of ideals, historic achievements and results, a place with a mission,” said Erik de Baedts. “As we look toward the next 100 years, forging the future of Andrew Carnegie’s legacy, we look forward to progressing the global SDG agenda, bringing us closer to our founder’s vision of world peace.”

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Forging the Future Together: Q&A with William Thomson

FORGING THE FUTURE

Forging the Future Together: Q&A with William Thomson

Can you give us a brief overview of your association with the institutions your great-grandfather, Andrew Carnegie, established?

I have been a trustee of the Carnegie UK Trust since 1982. At first, I was a trustee, then I became a convener of one of the Trust’s policy sections, then vice chairman, and eventually chairman. After dedicating five fruitful years to the Trust I took a step back, but the Trust wished to continue the family connection and very kindly asked me to become honorary president—a role I’ve held ever since.

Why did you want to be a part of the Carnegie UK Trust?

I didn’t expect to have a connection with the UK Trust. I knew that my mother had been a trustee, but she died very young, and at that point my father became a trustee. I certainly didn’t expect it, but they approached me, and we both wanted to continue the family connection. I hope they haven’t regretted it!

Why did Andrew Carnegie establish the Carnegie UK Trust?

The Carnegie UK Trust, established in 1913, was one of the last trusts Andrew Carnegie created. His active philanthropy really came to an end when the first world war started in 1914.

Andrew Carnegie was concerned that the trusts he had set up for Britain, Great Britain in those days, were too focused in Scotland. At the time, he had already established the Carnegie Universities Trust, the Dunfermline Trust— which was extremely important because it covered his hometown of Dunfermline and the surrounding area— and, of course, he had the Hero Fund which covered the whole of Great Britain.

He and, I think, some of his advisors in Dunfermline were concerned that the remit of the Dunfermline Trust was too narrow, and we needed to do something that was much more encompassing of Great Britain as a whole, so he set up the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust.

As always, he tended to keep these things relatively simple; so, it was made to be for the benefit of all the people in the UK and Ireland.

What do you believe Andrew Carnegie’s legacy is?

The legacy of his philanthropies is varied across all the different interests the Carnegie institutions are responsible for, and one enormous legacy is that of philanthropy in itself– the idea that people who accumulate great wealth also have a responsibility to see that that wealth goes back into the community, for the benefit of mankind.

If we go back to what Andrew Carnegie did, it was very much underpinned in his belief that mankind could always go onwards and upwards to achieve greater things, greater purity, greater nobility. He had a belief, and his trusts are very much pitched toward, this idea of “real and permanent good,” whether they be about education or otherwise.

How is the Trust forging the future of that legacy?

The Trust examines issues which may not yet be relevant today, but it tries to look to the future and work toward policy solutions for the problems of tomorrow. In some ways it’s comparable to a think tank, but in other ways it’s more than that— it’s looking forward and figuring out how to deal with future problems.

What does that legacy mean to you?

Of course, I’m very proud of the legacy of Andrew Carnegie, but in many ways, it also makes one quite humble. I know I’m only a family representative— I’m not the person who made the money — and so for me, what I want to do, and I think this is shared by other members of the family who are involved in the Trust, is just help continue his legacy. It’s not about us, it’s about his legacy and the work that is continuing to help others today.

What is your vision for the future of Andrew Carnegie’s legacy?

One of the most important developments we’ve had over the last 10 years, is that the Carnegie institutions now talk to each other. Now, they can cross-fertilize in their programming and create new programs by combining expertise in different areas. In this sense, establishing the wider brand of Carnegie has been important, and one can’t deny the role too of the Carnegie Corporation in the way it has assisted other foundations both financially and through its advice and guidance. I hope this continues, and for the individual institutions Andrew Carnegie established to continue forging the future— together.

 

William Thomson CBE, Former Chair and Honorary President, Carnegie United Kingdom Trust

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Carnegie’s Unique Vision: Q&A with Linda Hills

FORGING THE FUTURE

Carnegie’s Unique Vision: Q&A with Linda Hills

Can you give us a brief overview of your association with the institutions your great-grandfather, Andrew Carnegie, established?

I first became involved with the Carnegie institutions when my cousin William Thomson invited me to the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy event being held in Scotland in 2005. At the event my daughter and I were introduced to Mark Laskow and others from the Carnegie Hero Fund in Pittsburgh and they told me I’d have to stop by to visit. About a year later I was looking at colleges with my daughter and we found ourselves in Pittsburgh so we stopped by the fund’s office and they gave us such a warm welcome! Soon after, Mark Laskow asked me to consider serving on the Hero Fund Commission board, and I’ve been involved since.

Why did your great-grandfather establish the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission?

Grandpa Nagie set up the Hero Fund after the Harwick mine disaster in Pennsylvania in 1904. It was one of the worst coal mining accidents in US history. Two men went in to try and save their fellow working men, but nobody made it out and over 150 families were left without their husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers. In those days there wasn’t a welfare system to support people when calamity took place. Andrew Carnegie was inspired by those two men who put themselves in harm’s way, and he said, “I have to help.”

What differentiates the Carnegie Hero Fund from other awards for heroism?

The criteria that is so important is that the Hero Fund awards civilian heroes. Andrew Carnegie was passionate about world peace, and he didn’t want the fund to award those who are paid and trained to fight. He wanted to recognize the common person who suddenly saw a situation, immediately reacted, and took themselves out of safety to put their own lives on the line to save a stranger.

What does the Hero Fund mean to you?

The Hero Fund means a great deal to me. Out of all the Carnegie institutions, the Hero Fund was Andrew Carnegie’s own idea. His “ain bairn”— his own child.

I don’t have a big role but becoming a part of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was the greatest gift that could have possibly been given to me. It has enabled me to not only contribute in some small way to the legacy of my great-grandfather, but it has offered me opportunities to meet new, interesting people and to learn about the causes he was passionate about through his institutions’ continuing work.

What do you believe Andrew Carnegie’s legacy is?

Andrew Carnegie’s way of giving was so unique. Many people, including me, view him as the Father of Modern Philanthropy. He gave in a time whem there were no tax incentives, nothing compelled him to give, but he did it because he felt in his heart that this was his mission.

But the brilliance in his vision was his trust in future generations. He didn’t limit his institutions, he set them up, told them what his hopes were, and said “I believe that you who will be managing this in the future will know better than I do on how to make the best possible use of the funds I am endowing you with.” He knew he couldn’t predict the future, and that is why we sit here today with a vibrant living legacy of a man who died 100 years ago.

What is your vision for the future of Andrew Carnegie’s legacy?

I don’t think Grandpa Nagie could have ever imagined what he created. I think the institutions have grown beyond his greatest expectations. My hope is that what is happening now doesn’t ever stop, that the Medal of Philanthropy continues on, and the institutions continue to work together.

Since establishing the Medal of Philanthropy there has been an energy around the institutions that doesn’t seem to be diminishing at all and Grandpa Nagie gave the institutions enough flexibility so they could evolve with the times. I don’t see anything that could stop them from continuing what they’re doing, if not doing even more down the road. In 10 or 50 years, the institutions may look very different, but they will always continue working towards a better world.

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Andrew Carnegie — Peacenik?

FORGING THE FUTURE

Andrew Carnegie — Peacenik?

Five questions for master biographer David Nasaw

How could Andrew Carnegie — the pragmatic and even hard-headed businessman — have believed that global peace was achievable?

Carnegie was a peace activist from very early on. He believed that peace was inevitable, that mankind was progressing, and that war was a vestige of savagery. Like duels, feudalism, and serfdom, war would be eliminated over time, with the coming of an Age of Civilization that would replace the Age of Barbarism. To get to this peaceful world, one needed leaders, and Andrew Carnegie was going to do everything he could in his power to hasten the day when world peace arrived.

 

Why did Carnegie establish the Peace Palace?

He tried to build a structure for peace just as he had built his factories and steel mills. He was a dreamer, and nowhere were his dreams greater than when it came to the establishment of peace.

He built the Peace Palace hoping that one day soon it would become the center of a new world court. Instead of sending young men to kill one another on the battlefield, nations would convene at a court of peaceable arbitration in the Peace Palace and settle their difficulties peaceably.

The Hague was the “City of Peace,” and Carnegie was going to hasten the coming of peace through the Peace Palace, which was both a monument to peace as well as the home, he hoped, of an International Court of Arbitration.

 

How did Carnegie envision conflict between nations being settled?

He had a simple, two-stage process in mind. The nations of the world would come together two by two and sign treaties of arbitration. The Americans and the British would begin the process by signing a treaty that compelled each nation to submit its difficulties with the other nation to arbitration. Once the British and the Americans had signed this bilateral treaty, then the British would sign one with the Germans, and then the Americans would sign one with the French — like dominoes. All of these bilateral agreements would lead to what he called a “League of Peace” that would be centered at The Hague.

Concurrently, the nations of the world would begin to establish international laws of arbitration. There was no such thing as international law at the time, but the treaties of arbitration, the League of Peace, and the creation of a body of international law would all render war obsolete. Or so Carnegie hoped and dreamed.

 

What was Carnegie’s greatest accomplishment in peacebuilding?

There are three interrelated aspects to Andrew Carnegie’s legacy for peacebuilding.

First, there are his organizations themselves. Almost all of them in one way or another are dedicated to creating a peaceable world — not just the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which has “peace” in its name, but certainly Carnegie Corporation of New York, and the Hero Funds are dedicated to the notion that heroism does not consist in killing people on the battlefield. Heroism is simple, everyday acts of kindness and can involve risking one’s life to help another person. His institutions are his legacy.

Second, the Peace Palace building. Most monuments are to war, to soldiers, and to generals. The magnificent palace in The Hague is a monument to peace.

Third, Carnegie sets an example through his unflagging determination to end war. His argument was simple: war is not inevitable. He just kept pushing for peace. It didn’t matter if people made fun of him. He got a lot of ridicule from people he trusted, like Teddy Roosevelt. That example — the willingness to dream, to be a utopian, and to be a pragmatist on the path to peace — that’s Carnegie’s legacy, and it remains alive today.

 

How do you think Carnegie will be remembered, in the context of peace, a century from now?

One hopes there will be a steady movement in the direction that Carnegie set out for us, toward peaceable resolution. If you look at the world today: yes, there is strife and warfare, but there has not been a third world war, and hopefully there will not be one. Andrew Carnegie, more than 100 years ago, tried to convince world leaders that in the modern era, war is too deadly and weapons are too advanced. Maybe some part of Carnegie’s message is getting through, and perhaps progress is continuing toward its logical conclusion.

 

David Nasaw is an American author, biographer, and historian who specializes in the cultural and social history of early 20th-century America. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Distinguished Professor of History at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Nasaw is the author of Andrew Carnegie (2006), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the recipient of the New-York Historical Society’s American History Book Prize, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. During the 2018 Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations in The Hague, Professor Nasaw found the time to consider a few questions about Andrew Carnegie’s peacebuilding efforts.

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The Carnegie UK Trust: Changing Minds, Changing Lives

FORGING THE FUTURE

The Carnegie UK Trust: Changing Minds, Changing Lives

The Trust continues Andrew Carnegie’s original vision to improve the lives and well-being of people throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland

Andrew Carnegie made his fortune and spent much of his life in the United States, but he came from humble beginnings in the United Kingdom, a country that stayed close to his heart.

In 1913, with a $10 million endowment, the Scottish-American philanthropist founded the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust. The goal: to improve the well-being of the people of Great Britain and Ireland “by such means as are embraced within the meaning of the word ‘charitable.’”

Carnegie purposefully left his mission for the Carnegie UK Trust broad, to ensure that the organization remained relevant into the foreseeable future. The Trustees were given the freedom to direct their efforts “as best fitted from age to age.” Carnegie understood that with new times come new challenges and new needs. For more than 115 years, this flexibility has afforded the Carnegie UK Trust the ability to deliver upon its mandate, especially through periods of enormous hardship for the people of the United Kingdom.

For example, during the Great Depression, the Carnegie UK Trust developed a longstanding program to fund social welfare projects, addressing issues of poverty, employment, and urban renewal. As unemployment and poverty levels in the late 1920s and early 1930s grew, the Trust began to support initiatives to help communities most impacted by economic upheaval. The Trust worked closely with the National Council of Social Services to improve the social and cultural life of people in mining communities. It also invested in the innovative Land Settlement Association (1934–39), which resettled thousands of unemployed workers from depressed industrial areas to rural areas, enabling them to achieve livelihoods as small-hold food producers.

 

Family Tea, February 1939 Unemployed Durham miner Nathan Turner and his family enjoy the first meal in their new home, a cottage homestead in Reading, England, where they have been relocated as part of the Land Settlement Association scheme run by the Ministry of Labour with the support of the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust. (Photo: Tim Gidal/Picture Post/Getty Images)

 

As World War II raged across Europe in the following decade, the UK was not spared tremendous loss, suffering, and damages. The Carnegie UK Trust established a number of national Commissions of Inquiry at the time. Trustees and Commission members such as Lord Wolfenden and Dame Eileen Younghusband were among the leading architects of the British welfare state, the social safety net that came into its current mature form in the aftermath of the war. The Trust was also an important advocate of and investor in comprehensive social work and youth and community services.

“Although many people associate the Trust with the building and support of public libraries, the organization has always been involved in a wide variety of initiatives: from better understanding poverty and welfare to promoting participation in the arts and regenerating town centers,” said Douglas White, head of advocacy for the Carnegie UK Trust. “The Carnegie UK Trust has been, and always will be, willing to experiment with new ways of doing things and unafraid to be ahead of its time.”

Remaining focused on both the present and the future, the Carnegie UK Trust continues to develop five-year strategic plans to adapt to the most pressing issues, often electing to take calculated risks, investing in projects that are often seen as not far enough along in development for either the government or smaller organizations to tackle at the time.

Today the Trust’s 2016–2020 Strategic Plan focuses on improving well-being through four key initiatives: Digital Futures, Enabling Wellbeing, Flourishing Towns, and Fulfilling Work. The Carnegie UK Trust is dedicated to investing in evidence-based policy development and translating and applying its findings to real-world issues.

As part of its most recent strategic plan, the Trust has sought to understand why more than 13 million people in the United Kingdom lack credit or have a poor credit history, and to then seek out better options for those individuals. The poor or people with troubled credit histories are all too often excluded from access to mainstream credit, forcing them to resort to high-cost, short-term and often unscrupulous lenders. The question of how to make affordable credit available to people across the UK has long been a complex, contested, and highly fraught public policy issue.

Carnegie UK Trust’s Affordable Credit project seeks to bring new solutions to this area with a focus on identifying alternative options to the commercial high-cost credit market. The Trust recently partnered with Emmy Award-winning actor Michael Sheen to raise awareness of this important issue, which affects millions across the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, its Affordable Credit Action Group works to develop and implement recommendations to overcome some of the structural issues that inhibit the expansion of affordable credit.

Making progress on these and many other issues, the Carnegie UK Trust delivers a clear set of messages to influencers and decision-makers. The Trust’s recommendations continue to bring about change and improve well-being for people across the UK and Ireland — just as Andrew Carnegie envisioned.

Photo (Top): An aerial view of Foxash Estate, Ardleigh, Essex, England, taken in 1967. Faxash Estate is one of a series of Land Settlement Association schemes of cooperative smallholdings set up in the 1930s with the support of the Carnegie UK Trust. (Photo: English Heritage/Getty Images)

Andrew Carnegie’s Transatlantic Legacy

FORGING THE FUTURE

Andrew Carnegie’s Transatlantic Legacy

Tackling the Most Consequential Threats to International Peace Through Strategic Insight and Innovative Ideas

In 1910, driven by a bold mission to “hasten the abolition of international war,” Andrew Carnegie bestowed $10 million toward the creation of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in Washington, D.C.

Though the world has undergone radical change since then, the organization’s central mission remains unchanged: the advancement of international cooperation to promote world peace through policy research conducted in collaboration with leaders from government, business, and civil society.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has had 10 presidents since its inception, all of whom have cultivated the organization’s three guiding principles: a commitment to rigorous policy research, a steady focus on effecting concrete global change, and a capacity to respond nimbly to shifting geopolitical currents.

Today, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace employs a growing roster of more than 100 foreign-policy experts based in 20 cities worldwide — from Beijing to Brussels to Beirut.

Though the organization continues to expand globally, it still operates under its central mission. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace President William J. Burns states, “In an increasingly crowded, chaotic, and contested world and marketplace of ideas, we offer global, independent, and strategic insight and innovative ideas to solve the most consequential threats to international peace.”

Carnegie Europe, founded in 2007 and based in Brussels, focuses on European foreign-policy analysis. Its scholars conduct research and make recommendations around such fraught issues as the future of EU-Iran relations, the implications of Brexit for the future of Europe, and the challenges posed by shifting military alliances.

In the last few months alone, the organization has brought together experts on Turkey with key representatives of several EU institutions to coordinate the 28-member bloc’s policy towards Ankara regarding migration, visa-free travel, and accession to the EU. And, earlier this year, a senior representative from the German government sought out the organization’s assistance in addressing disagreements on issues like free movement and migration, which have threatened to divide the EU in recent years.

“The strength of Andrew Carnegie’s heritage is as important now as ever,” says Carnegie Europe Director Tomáš Valášek. “Day to day, leading global political figures turn to us to help resolve some of the most pressing problems.”

Andrew Carnegie’s central abiding commitment to pacifism informs all of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s foreign-policy efforts, guided by an impressive array of experts and policymakers who have earned the institute global renown.

In March of this year, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced the election of Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank and former U.S. trade representative, to its board of trustees. And in 2017, former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry was named visiting distinguished statesman.

Andrew Carnegie was prone to saying, “Aim for the highest.” Aiming for world peace is indeed a lofty objective. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace continues Carnegie’s core mission, seeking collaboration, understanding, and engagement to prevent war and enhance prospects for global concord.

Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Catalyzing Innovation in Education and Research

FORGING THE FUTURE

Catalyzing Innovation in Education and Research

Carnegie Mellon University Is a World Leader in Cross-Disciplinary Exploration at the Intersection of Technology and Humanity

“My heart is in the work.”

From a mural at the school to souvenirs at the campus bookstore, you will see that phrase everywhere at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Uttered by Andrew Carnegie over 100 years ago, the words are rooted in the very ethos of the school to this day.

Andrew Carnegie had little formal education, but he believed deeply in the power of books and learning. During his formative years, he spent many evenings absorbed in the 1,500-volume library of a local businessman, Colonel James Anderson, who opened his personal collection of books to local working boys. Once he had accumulated his fortune, Andrew Carnegie devoted himself to giving away virtually all of his wealth during his lifetime, creating a wide range of philanthropic, cultural, and educational institutions, including the founding of 2,509 libraries, paving the way for future generations to have access not only to books, but to knowledge, understanding, and opportunity.

“An immigrant himself, he believed in the role of education as a great equalizer and was committed to ensuring that his philanthropy would be focused on creating ‘ladders on which the aspiring can rise,’” said Carnegie Mellon University president Farnam Jahanian during a recent event commemorating Andrew Carnegie. “He set his sights on transforming education – not just here in Pittsburgh, but across the nation.”

The university’s story started in 1900 with a $1 million donation from Andrew Carnegie. The idea was first to create a technical institute where Pittsburgh’s working class could learn practical skills, trades, and crafts. The Carnegie Technical Schools soon began offering bachelor’s degrees. In 1967 “Carnegie Tech” merged with the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research (an independent research corporation founded in the 1930s by the prominent Pittsburgh family of financiers and philanthropists) — and with this, Carnegie Mellon University was officially established.

Today, Carnegie Mellon University has 14,000 students enrolled in more than 26 degree programs spread across 14 countries. The university’s vision is to have a transformative impact on society through continual innovations in education, research, creativity, and entrepreneurship.

The impressive roll call of the university’s alumni and faculty confirms that this vision is not merely aspirational. There are the winners of — for starters —  116 Emmy Awards, 44 Tony Awards, 20 Nobel Prizes, and 10 Academy Awards. The university’s engineers have created robots that can walk on water. One of its alumni generated the idea behind the hashtag symbol on Twitter. Another became known as the “Father of Java” for inventing the computer programming language. The roster of famous alumni includes names like Mel Bochner, Albert Brooks, Ted Danson, Holly Hunter, George Romero, and Andy Warhol.

As an institution, Carnegie Mellon University can boast of many firsts. Its reputation in the fine and performing arts dates to 1906 with the founding of the School of Applied Design, one of the first comprehensive arts teaching institutes in the United States, growing quickly into a world-ranked leader in architecture, art, design, drama, and music. Carnegie Mellon established the nation’s first robotics institute in 1979, and in the 1980s it became the first university with a wired campus. The first green dormitory in the U.S. opened at CMU in 2003.

The university today enjoys international recognition, ranking top in the country in areas like computer science and information and technology management. A pioneer in many fields, Carnegie Mellon University emulates its founder’s commitment to progress and innovation.

“We are reshaping the businesses of today and creating new industries of tomorrow with groundbreaking research in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, neuroscience, robotics, and cyber-security, among many others,” said Jahanian. “The university has emerged as a world leader in cross-disciplinary exploration at the intersection of technology and humanity, catalyzing innovation in both education and research to solve humanity’s most pressing challenges.”

Andrew Carnegie would undoubtedly be proud of the university’s many distinctions, its commitment to social impact, and its ambitious plans for the future. Carnegie Mellon University not only sustains its founder’s vision — it is amplifying it. The achievements — of its students, faculty, and alumni — demonstrate the power of education, just as Andrew Carnegie intended.

Photo: © Carnegie Mellon University. All rights reserved.

Bringing the World to Pittsburgh

FORGING THE FUTURE

Bringing the World to Pittsburgh

Andrew Carnegie’s Library and Museums Are Forging the Future in the Steel City

“I feel lucky that I came to such a friendly city,” says Dutian Zeng, a former after-school teacher from China and a newcomer to Pittsburgh. “I feel even luckier that, because of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, I’m not a stranger and I’m no longer lonely.”

At the Library, Zeng tapped into her passion for working with children. She partnered with staff to create a list of 100 famous American and Chinese picture books for the Library to exchange with a school in her old hometown of Wuhan in Central China. Thanks to the joy of reading, children thousands of miles apart were brought together.

 

Dutian Zeng (pictured middle) with the staff at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. (Photo: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh)

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is one of more than 2,500 libraries founded by Andrew Carnegie. Andrew Carnegie is known for many things: he was a visionary entrepreneur, a business leader, and an innovative philanthropist. Yet he is perhaps most celebrated for investing more than $55 million in libraries, earning him recognition as the “patron saint of libraries.”

“Here at the main library, right above the doors, it says Free to the People — and that really is our guiding principle,” says Molly Bennett, Pittsburgh Library’s director of communications and creative services. “We are open to everyone and our mission is to engage our whole community in literacy and learning.”

Since its inception in 1895, the Library has moved with the times and continues to look to the future. In addition to providing many electronic books, laptops for loan, and hotspots to help bridge the digital divide, Carnegie Library will soon offer coding lessons and, in response to Pittsburgh’s increasingly diverse population, will make more works available in translation in an even wider range of languages.

Andrew Carnegie once said, “A library outranks any other thing a community can do to benefit its people,” and nearly a century after his death, Zeng and many others continue to enjoy an institution he cherished so deeply.

Another institution beloved by residents and visitors alike is Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, comprised of Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum.

“I think Andrew Carnegie would be particularly proud of what his museums have become: a family of four distinctive, dynamic museums that, collectively, reach nearly 1.5 million people a year, including hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren,” observes Carnegie Museums’ board member Bill Hunt.

Whether it’s Dinosaurs in Their Time, the natural history museum’s impressive core exhibition, or the Science Center’s popular sports and science-related exhibits, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh strives to bring the best in art, science, and history to the Steel City, just as their original benefactor intended.

“His vision is entrenched in our vision now,” says Betsy Momich, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh’s director of corporate communications. “We live and breathe it every day.”

A century after Andrew Carnegie’s passing, the museums are staying true to his mission while adapting to modern times. The dinosaur exhibition is now nearly three times the size of the original, The Andy Warhol Museum is North America’s most comprehensive single-artist museum, and the Science Center will soon open a four-story pavilion featuring everything from large-scale exhibitions to a digital giant-screen theater.

“Some have wondered what our founding father would have thought of bringing a Science Center and The Andy Warhol Museum into the Carnegie Museums fold in the 1900s. I feel certain he wouldn’t have just liked the idea; he would have demanded it!” says Hunt.

None of us know what the next century will bring. What we do know is that Andrew Carnegie’s library and museums will continue to embrace recent arrivals, such as Dutian Zheng, bringing literacy, learning, and opportunity to the Pittsburgh community.

A Celebration of Heroes in Pittsburgh

FORGING THE FUTURE

A Celebration of Heroes in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh shaped Andrew Carnegie as a young man. In return, Carnegie endowed the city with a bounty of museums, libraries, and other institutions. These stand as testament to his philanthropic vision of doing “real and permanent good in this world,” enriching the City of Pittsburgh while demonstrating that Carnegie’s legacy remains vital and flourishing into the 21st century. The four Pittsburgh-based Carnegie institutions — the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University — came together recently in the Steel City to mark a special milestone in the history of civilian acts of heroism. Such acts carried a profound resonance for Andrew Carnegie, who established the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission in 1904 to honor those “heroes of civilization,” ordinary men and women who risk or sometimes even lose their own lives attempting to save the life of another.

Jimmy Rhodes and Vickie Tillman were honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission on June 12, 2018. (Photo: Downs Creative)

Understanding Altruism

On June 12, at the Allegheny HYP Club in Downtown Pittsburgh, a special luncheon was held honoring Vickie Tillman and Jimmy Rhodes, respectively the 10,000th and 10,001st Carnegie Hero. The featured guest speaker was Abigail Marsh, distinguished professor of psychology at Georgetown University and author of The Fear Factor: How One Emotion Connects Altruists, Psychopaths, and Everyone In-Between, described by the Wall Street Journal as a “compelling scientific detective story.” Marsh is working to better understand why individuals like the Carnegie Heroes go to such extraordinary lengths to help others, why some individuals exhibit higher levels of altruism. Through her work with the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and the recipients of the Carnegie Medal, as well as with other exceptional individuals, Marsh is hoping to normalize courageous behavior, ultimately building a world in which more of us will be empowered to behave altruistically.

A Multifaceted Legacy

Later that evening, representatives of the Carnegie institutions convened at the Carnegie Music Hall for a gala event, helmed by NPR host Scott Simon. After acknowledging Tillman and Rhodes for their acts of bravery, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh president Bill Hunt paid special tribute to Andrew Carnegie’s commitment to making art and culture accessible to the public. “The gift of Carnegie Museums is just one of countless measures Andrew Carnegie took to ensure that education and culture would be accessible to the many, not just the few,” he said.

Carnegie Hero Fund Commission chairman Mark Laskow invoked Carnegie’s ideas about civilian heroism — ideas that remain vital nearly 100 years after the philanthropist’s death. For Laskow, the Hero Fund highlights some of the most personal and intimate decisions that an individual can make, exemplified by Carnegie Heroes past and present. “The values of heroism and altruism that shine through these acts are important threads in the fabric of our culture,” said Laskow. “The Hero Fund is here to add their stories to our national discussion about who we really are.”

Farnam Jahanian, president of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), cited Carnegie’s bold vision, commitment to inclusion, and rational approach to solving some of the world’s most vexing problems as an enduring source of inspiration for Carnegie Mellon University and its students. The founder, he said, was “unapologetically ahead of his time, committed to seizing opportunities and being resilient in the face of a rapidly expanding world.”

Mary Frances Cooper, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh president and director, honored Carnegie’s lifelong pursuit of knowledge. While young Carnegie received little formal education, he was a voracious reader from an early age and remained so throughout his life. His reverence for books shaped his belief that there was no better investment for a community than that of a free public library. “Carnegie’s particular brand of philanthropy reflects the fundamental need in people, and our individual and collective desire, to do the right thing,” Cooper said of Carnegie’s faith in the individual’s capacity to learn and evolve.

The Heroes Roll of Honor

Eric P. Zahren, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s president and secretary, underscored the enduring power of the individual to effect change in the world. In his lead-up to the unveiling of the Carnegie Heroes Roll of Honor, Zahren said: “Perhaps Carnegie, above all, hoped that we would see the power of each one, imperfect as we are, to make a difference, to change the world. For one moment and for all time. To see, to recognize, and to embrace the undeniable power of one.” Throughout the 114 years since the Carnegie Hero Commission Fund was established, more than 10,000 Carnegie Medals have indeed been awarded and many millions have been disbursed in one-time grants, scholarship aid, death benefits, and continuing assistance. But most importantly, the Fund keeps the heroes’ stories alive, ensuring that their acts of personal bravery will ripple across generations.

Everyday Heroes

Following the unveiling, Scott Simon introduced Academy Award-nominated actor and Pittsburgh native Michael Keaton. The superhero of the Silver Screen honored the everyday heroes who walk among us. “The common denominator of heroism is courage,” said Keaton, adding that “courage shows up all the time in this world and often without any fanfare.”

The next Forging the Future event will honor Andrew Carnegie’s legacy as a peacemaker and highlight the Carnegie institutions that continue to work toward world peace. The Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations will take place at the Peace Palace in The Hague from September 24 to 26. The event will bring together experts from Carnegie institutions and elsewhere for a series of panel discussions on the most pressing issues of the day, including ethics in peacebuilding, health and peace, artificial intelligence, security of natural resources, and financing peace.