Brooke Astor’s $2 Million Gift Will Fund Travel Abroad Program for New York City Teachers

Brooke Astor was a legendary New Yorker, a celebrated philanthropist, and a friend of NYU Steinhardt. From 1996-2003, she supported the Astor Fellows Travel Program, which rewarded public school teachers with a working professional development vacation abroad.

Mrs. Astor, who spent her childhood in such exotic places as Hawaii, Panama, and Peking, and her adult summers in Portofino, Italy, saw travel as essential to the human spirit.

A gift of $2 million dollar from Mrs. Astor’s estate will enable the Steinhardt School to develop a new program to reward New York City teachers through international study and travel.

“At the heart of New York City’s public schools are its teachers,” Mrs. Astor said in a 1999 interview. “I thought it would be a wonderful thing to give a small group of talented, hard-working men and women the opportunity to see how people live and learn in another country.”

A supporter of professional development for teachers, Mrs. Astor also gave generously to Steinhardt’s Reading Recovery program, which trains teachers in a short-term early literacy intervention technique.

“I’m thrilled that NYU Steinhardt will be the vehicle for providing New York City’s dedicated public school teachers the generous gift of learning and travel,” said Dean Mary Brabeck announcing the gift.