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In keeping with Marygrove College’s strategic vision of fostering urban leadership to promote progressive and positive change, which was born out of and inspired by its historical commitment to the City of Detroit where it was founded over 80 years ago by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the College has named Ms. Brenda Price, former program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in Detroit and, until recently, also in Gary , Indiana, as Marygrove’s first Urban Leadership Fellow. The Urban Leadership Fellow will be an active learning member and catalyst for innovation with the various teams of faculty and staff involved in designing and leading the College’s Urban Leadership Initiatives.  In addition, as this is an area of interest for Knight, the foundation has committed to making a planning grant to Marygrove to support this work.

Ms. Price has over 20 years of experience in community and government affairs, public policy, business, and philanthropy.  She is familiar with the College’s urban leadership work, having supported the initial planning work of Marygrove’s Neighborhood Empowerment and Enhancement Initiative as well as having co-convened with Marygrove’s President a conversation among philanthropic leaders about the College’s strategic vision in January 2008.  During her six-year tenure at the Knight Foundation, she led and collaborated on many important projects, including Detroit's Northend Neighborhood, Knight's broadband and library initiatives, the New Economy Initiative and the Funders Collaborative for Workforce Solutions. Prior to that, Ms. Price was a program consultant and Senior Program Officer for the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan, among the top 30 largest community foundations in the country, where she managed several strategic investment programs including oversight for grants involving faith-based, youth, education, and community and economic development programs.

As Urban Leadership Fellow, Ms. Price will help enhance the knowledge of participating faculty and staff about best practices, research studies, examples of other programs and community initiatives nationally and locally, philanthropic interests, and leading practitioners in the fields of leadership and urban community development.  In addition, her role will be to identify opportunities to integrate the emergent programs and activities in ways that promote broader and deeper campus-wide learning.  In short, the Urban Leadership Fellow will help connect human talent and resources—both externally and internally—in order to accelerate institutional transformation toward achieving the College’s strategic vision.

“Establishing the position of Urban Leadership Fellow marks an important milestone in the College’s larger Urban Leadership vision and strategy,” said Marygrove College President David J. Fike. “I have great confidence that Brenda Price’s talent and experience adds significant strength to the team of faculty and staff at Marygrove who are working to create a national model of a college engaged in transforming the social reality of its community and I am grateful to the Knight Foundation for their commitment to support this project.”