Civics lessons – Citizenship college launched

Pierre Omidyar, multibillionaire founder of ebay, has given $10 million to Tufts University to infuse a public-service component into every aspect of university life, The New York Times reports.

The school will use the grant to finance scholarships, faculty development, and a venture fund for community projects at its new College of Citizenship and Public Service.

The purpose of the new college is to promote a lifelong commitment to civic engagement, the Times says.

“Being an active citizen is not something you put on your resume.  It’s something you should think about every day,” Omidyar told students at the college’s inaugural lecture.

Tufts is one of many universities that are re-emphasizing public service in education.

“It’s not enough to produce brilliant scholars if we do not also engage them in the larger issues of our day, in the ferment of our times and our society,” Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania, told the Times.

The grant is the largest yet from Omidyar’s private foundation. He and his wife, Pam, have announced they will give away all but 1 percent of their estimated $6 billion fortune over the next 25 years, the Times says.

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