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Parr Center Awarded Educating Character Initiative Grant

Parr Center for Ethics Awarded the Educating Character Initiative Capacity-Building Grant 

Funds Will Support Year Long Project to Expand and Study Undergraduate Ethics Education 


Chapel Hill, NC: The Educating Character Initiative, part of Wake Forest University’s Program for Leadership and Character, announced on June 11, 2024 that UNC-Chapel Hill’s Parr Center for Ethics was one of forty-one nation-wide recipients of their new Capacity-Building grants. The $33,129 grant will fund the 2024-25 “From Theory to Practice: Building Communities for Ethical Deliberation at the Nation’s Oldest Public University” project, led by Dr. Michael Vazquez, Parr Center Outreach Director and Teaching Assistant Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. Michael Prinzing, Parr Center Consulting Research Scientist and UNC Philosophy PhD. The project will expand the capacity and scope of the Center’s “Parr Heel” undergraduate ethics program – led by Parr Center Undergraduate Programming Director Vanessa Moore – to include graduate mentors, undergraduate assessment fellows, and a slate of “Thinking and Talking about Virtue” character development lectures. Secondly, the project will research the impact of the Center’s pedagogy and programming on undergraduates. The Parr Center is enthusiastic about launching this project, especially at a moment in which universities are reckoning with the value of the humanities. 


The mission of the Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University is to inspire, educate, and empower leaders of character to serve humanity. Through innovative teaching, creative programming, and cutting-edge research, we aim to transform the lives of students, foster an inclusive culture of leadership and character, and catalyze a broader public conversation that places character at the center of leadership. Since 2017, we have been advancing this mission primarily at Wake Forest, but in recent years many colleges and universities have reached out to solicit advice and share ideas about how to educate character in a university context. Inspired by our motto of Pro Humanitate (for humanity) and supported through a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., we have developed the Educating Character Initiative to support a wider community of individuals and institutions to educate character within colleges and universities. Through the creation of a network of interested institutions and educators, the development and dissemination of research and resources, the organization of conferences and convenings, and the direct awarding of grants to individuals and institutions interested in advancing this work in their own contexts, we aspire to nurture a creative, compassionate, and collaborative community of educators who can learn from each other as partners in character education.