ASU community mourns loss of W. P. Carey

January 2, 2012

The Arizona State University community mourns the loss of a great benefactor, philanthropist and businessman. Wm. Polk Carey, one of the nation’s most prominent real estate investors and the major donor behind the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU, has passed away at the age of 81.

"The ASU family mourns the loss of our benefactor and friend Bill Carey," says ASU President Michael M. Crow. "Bill Carey was not only a great business leader and philanthropist, but also a visionary. He knew that metropolitan Phoenix needed a first-rate business school to advance in the 21st century and saw in ASU the potential to develop that school. Through his generous investment in ASU almost a decade ago, the school that bears his name has become world-class and will continue to educate future business leaders for many generations to come." Download Full Image

The New York-based banker, founder and chairman of W. P. Carey & Co. LLC donated $50 million from his educational and philanthropic W. P. Carey Foundation to ASU in 2003. In recognition of his extraordinary support, ASU renamed the university’s business school in his honor, and the gift has been instrumental in helping the W. P. Carey School to become one of the world’s top business schools. U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times all now rank W. P. Carey School programs among the Top 30 nationwide.

At the time, Carey’s generous donation was the second-largest gift ever to a U.S. business school. Carey’s family has deep connections to Arizona State University. His grandfather, John Samuel Armstrong, introduced legislation that created the university in 1886. Carey also had an honorary doctor of science degree from ASU.

Carey has said of his gift to the business school, “The key to future economic growth is quality education, and this school will be dedicated to producing our country’s next generation of business leaders.”

The school’s leadership agrees.

“Bill gave us the ability to dramatically advance the quality and status of the school much more rapidly than would have been possible otherwise,” says Robert Mittelstaedt, W. P. Carey School of Business dean. “He was a philanthropist who believed a primary way to advance our country was through education, and he helped a number of schools, including ours. He was also a student of economics and a great admirer of top-tier economists.”

Mittelstaedt also says Carey was a smart businessman who pioneered a way for smaller investors to participate in large real estate projects with consistent top-tier returns. Carey had an incredible 60-plus-year career in the finance industry and will be remembered as a visionary leader with fierce loyalty and abundant generosity.

Education leaders, students share their ideas for change

January 3, 2012

Last fall ASU launched the 10,000 Solutions Project, a problem-solving platform anyone, anywhere, can use to confront local and global challenges. In the last few months, the collaborative online community has submitted more than 1,200 solutions. One of the most popular topics for users to consider is education.  

Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America, recently submitted a solution to the 10,000 Solutions Project. “Education inequity is a pervasive problem all over the world,” Kopp states in her solution. Kopp’s idea about how to solve this global issue is Teach For All. Download Full Image

“What Teach For All is doing is working to build a global movement to ensure educational excellence and equity by accelerating the impact of organizations all over the world that are enlisting their nations’ most promising future leaders ... in addressing education inequity,” she says.

Many prominent ASU advocates for education have shared their solutions. ASU President Michael Crow and Mari Koerner, dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, both shared their ideas about how to improve the teaching profession.

“We need to find ways to produce new teachers,” Crow says. “A new teacher needs to be a person that is carefully selected, carefully advanced, moved forward in a new kind of way with an entirely different focus.”

10,000 Solutions also provides a venue for students to be more creative when thinking about how to solve education challenges. Instructor Stephanie Garcia embedded 10,000 Solutions within a course she teaches called “Entrepreneurial Educators.” She asked students to design a short “fast pitch” of their idea. Students then provided feedback to one another about their ideas.

Garcia finds the online platform useful and engaging. “I think the 10,000 Solutions platform is a great tool for collaboration within and beyond the university, and creating a space where these tools can be blended within a curriculum allows our students to experience this new collaborative space first hand.”

10,000 Solutions provides the engaged community necessary to support students in confronting real-world issues.

“I feel that the more we can model real-world experiences and challenges within the university, the better prepared our students will be when they leave the university setting,” Garcia says. “10,000 Solutions is taking online communication and collaboration to the next level by creating a space for social innovation to take place and grow.”

ASU students, staff, faculty and external community members can share their ideas about education or other topics by visiting  

Written by Paul Henne

Britt Lewis

Communications Specialist, ASU Library