Alan Shawn Feinstein is 88 years old and still one of Rhode Island’s most important philanthropists. Much like Andrew Carnegie’s libraries, the monuments to Alan’s good works are everywhere. Over 180 elementary and secondary schools are “Feinstein Schools,” where 250,000 Junior Scholars have made a commitment to doing good deeds, helping to build their communities and making the world a better place. Their Junior Scholars cards admit them and their guests to places and events that expand their minds and their sense of contributing to a higher morality, stronger communities and to America itself.
Alan’s commitment to doing good extends into higher education, especially here in Rhode Island. For the last thirty years, his vision and his support have enabled our colleges and universities to value community engagement, volunteerism, commitment to ease human suffering and creating leaders who embody his philosophy.
At Salve Regina and at URI, he created the Feinstein Enriching America programs, dedicated to helping student volunteers serve their communities. At Providence College, he helped create the Feinstein Institute for Public Service, and at Roger Williams University the Feinstein Center for Pro Bono and Experiential Education.
At Rhode Island College, his work resulted in the Feinstein College of Education and the Institute for Philanthropic Leadership. At URI, he funded the Center for a Hunger Free America, and at Tufts the International Famine Center. URI’s Providence campus is home to the Dr. Pat Feinstein Child Development Center. His gifts supported the Feinstein Graduate School at Johnson and Wales, the Feinstein College of Arts and Sciences at Roger Williams University, and the joint Doctoral Program at RIC and URI. And he made possible URI’s Feinstein College of Continuing Education (now the Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies) in downtown Providence.
Most recently, Alan created the Feinstein Senior Scholars program at College Unbound. These Senior Scholars are the parents of Junior Scholars, individuals who started but never finished a college degree. We know that when at least one parent earns a bachelors degree, their child is twice as likely to complete college. As a result, the family as a whole grows more prosperous and more stable. When families grow more stable and more prosperous, the community in which they live grows in the same way.
Thanks, Alan, for your own good deeds!
Robert Carothers is the former president of the University of Rhode Island and executive vice president of College Unbound.