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Executive Director to Step Down



Lansdowne, VA—Founding Executive Director Dr. Matthew Quinn has announced that he will retire from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation later this year after nine years at the helm.  The Foundation’s Board of Directors has retained the search firm Witt/Kieffer to identify candidates to succeed Dr. Quinn and expects to name a new executive director by late 2009.

Quinn, a New York City native, is the former president of Carroll College, a small liberal arts college in Montana. In 2000, he became the first executive director of the Cooke Foundation, endowed by the late businessman and Washington Redskins owner, to support students who strive for excellence but need financial help to achieve their academic goals.

Quinn played a critical role in establishing the Foundation as a leading philanthropy dedicated to helping disadvantaged young people pursue their potential. Since opening its doors, it has grown substantially, increasing opportunities for thousands of exceptionally promising, low-income students through academic and arts-related scholarship and grant programs. The Foundation has awarded 1,200 scholarships totaling more than $60 million to children, teens, and young adults for support during high school, college, and graduate school and given almost $46 million in grants to nonprofit organizations whose programs and mission coincide with the Foundation’s.

“This Foundation is committed to Mr. Cooke’s dream to do what it can to make sure that young people of exceptional promise will not find the doors of educational opportunity closed to them because of limited financial resources,” says Dr. Quinn. “I am grateful to the Board of Directors and honored to have had the chance of a lifetime to build a community of talented and dedicated professionals who have profoundly affected the lives of hundreds of young people. I have had a charmed life in their midst,” he adds. 

The Foundation’s three scholarship programs help students in high school, college, and graduate school.

  • The Young Scholars Program assists lower-income students who have demonstrated excellence in academics and extracurricular activities so they can excel in high school and college.
  • The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program supports outstanding community college students with financial need in transferring to and completing their bachelor’s degree at top four-year colleges and universities. 
  • The Graduate Scholarship Program enables a select group of exceptional college students and recent college graduates with financial need to pursue graduate or professional study.  

In addition to these scholarships, the Foundation provides support to help selective colleges better serve lower-income community college transfer students; to improve college guidance to exceptionally promising low-income students; and to enhance elementary and middle school programs that help low-income children achieve at high levels in academics and the arts.   

Before joining the Foundation, Dr. Quinn had spent most of his career in academia.  Prior to his 11 years as president atCarroll College, he had served as executive vice president for academic affairs at Saint Joseph’s University inPhiladelphia, and dean of the graduate school of arts and sciences at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. He holds a Ph.D. from Boston College and a J.D. from Fordham University’s School of Law.  

He and his wife, Dr. Maureen A. Quinn, a Professor of Nursing at Shenandoah University, live in Round Hill, VA, and have two sons, Matthew and Michael. 

Dr. Quinn will stay on for a brief period after a replacement is named to help with the transition.






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