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Loyola receives $105,000 gift from T. Rowe Price Foundation to support York Road Initiative

| By Nick Alexopulos
Loyola University Maryland York Road Initiative murals
Mural painting on the York Road corridor in 2014 (photo by Brigid Hamilton)

Loyola University Maryland has received a $105,000 gift from the T. Rowe Price Foundation to support work with community residents, neighborhood organizations, and businesses in the development of a shared vision for strengthening the Greater Govans/York Road corridor communities.

Over the next three years, the gift will fund a planning process—including trainings, assessment, measurement, and strategic goal-setting—for this shared vision, and will result in a synthesized, 10-year operational plan to improve the quality of life of those living, working, and learning in the Greater Govans/York Road corridor communities immediately east of Loyola’s Evergreen campus.

“We are tremendously grateful to the T. Rowe Price Foundation for its generous support of Loyola University Maryland’s York Road Initiative and for recognizing our commitment—and our responsibility as a Jesuit university—to working toward a more equitable world,” said Erin O’Keefe, ’03, director of Loyola’s Center for Community Service and Justice and York Road Initiative. “That work begins in our neighborhood in Baltimore. We have made significant progress since our York Road Initiative began nearly a decade ago, and partnerships strengthened by new resources made possible by the Foundation will further ensure our shared community’s long-term health and vitality.”

Loyola’s York Road Initiative (YRI) focuses on building neighborhood civic capacity, strengthening the commercial corridor, enhancing youth development, and addressing food insecurity. Its partnerships include resident, community, government, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations. YRI’s Govanstowne Farmers’ Market serves 500 residents weekly during the summer months. Fresh Crate, a healthy-corner-store program, provides fresh fruits and vegetables in three neighborhood corner stores; the produce is sourced through Loyola’s dining services provider, Parkhurst. YRI participates in afterschool programming at Govans Elementary, Guilford Elementary, and Walter P. Carter Elementary. In addition, Loyola’s backbone support of the York Road Corridor Collective has led to the development of the York Road Commercial Masterplan.

On the heels of these and other successes, YRI partners are prepared to collaboratively determine the next structure for their shared efforts.  

“The strongest community-university partnerships around the country are based on acknowledging both the self-interest of the university and the self-interest of the community and finding the most relevant mutual interest between them,” said O’Keefe.

This process would not be possible without the $105,000 gift.

“We deeply appreciate the York Road Initiative’s tireless work and Loyola University Maryland’s core values, which align closely with the T. Rowe Price Foundation’s mission to be a catalyst for positive change in communities,” said John Brothers, L.P.D., president of the Foundation. “Our support reflects our confidence in the sustainability of the York Road Initiative’s accomplishments, and the promise of new, strategic endeavors in the future.”

The T. Rowe Price Foundation, funded by T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., primarily focuses on education, human services, and arts and culture. The Foundation works closely with nonprofits to identify new and effective ways to meet the challenges in those neighborhoods. Since its founding in 1981, the Foundation has given $101 million to communities throughout the United States.

With the Foundation’s gift included in Loyola’s $100 million Bright Minds, Bold Hearts comprehensive campaign for strategic academic, service, and experiential programs and initiatives at the University, the total raised to date is more than $84 million. In early 2016, Loyola tripled the fundraising goal for YRI and adjusted other campaign priorities to increase the overall focus on initiatives that benefit Baltimore City.

More information about the T. Rowe Price Foundation is available at troweprice.com.

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