Early Childhood Education Expert Commits $5 Million to LSU Early Childhood Education Institute
July 06, 2022
LSU alumna Diane Goyette and husband Henry’s gift will advance research-to-practice pipeline to benefit Louisiana families
BATON ROUGE – LSU alumna Diane Goyette and husband Henry of Houston, Texas, have made a $5 million gift to benefit the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute. The LSU College of Human Sciences & Education’s ECE Institute, announced in March 2021, is a hub for the state and nation to connect early childhood research, education and advocacy of recommended practices. The institute’s work targets the education and care of children from birth through age three, a pivotal timeframe for establishing a strong educational foundation to ultimately narrow the achievement gap and increase cognitive development.
“Developmentally sound practices in early childhood education require an ongoing cycle of rigorous research, synthesis of evidence, and novel strategies to implement findings in a variety of learning settings,” said William F. Tate IV, president of LSU. “Our community benefits as the Goyette family’s gift provides resources to support this cycle as it prioritizes evidence-based health and education practices with children in the state of Louisiana and beyond. I am grateful for their support.”
The Goyettes’ gift, blended over time to provide immediate support and long-term support through their estate plans, will establish the Diane Toups Goyette Research & Engagement Fund in Early Childhood Education, the Diane Toups Goyette Professorship in Early Childhood Development and the Diane Toups Goyette Graduate Student Scholarship.
“The Goyettes’ pace-setting generosity is exactly the type of collaborative partnership we envisioned in launching the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute last year,” said Roland Mitchell, dean of the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education. “As an alumna and an expert in early childhood education, Diane recognizes the vital importance of investing in Louisiana’s children and in the teachers who commit their careers to changing lives through education. Her confidence in the ECE Institute affirms the importance of our impact in this crucial aspect of shaping Louisiana’s future.”
The purpose of the Goyette Fund is to increase understanding and dissemination of evidence-based strategies that enhance early childhood social-emotional development. It will include funding for—among other initiatives—research programs, community outreach and engagement to advance the research-to-practice pipeline, as well as support for faculty and students to participate in professional development opportunities as both attendees and subject matter experts.
The Goyette Professorship will be held by the ECE Institute executive director, with flexibility to use the funding in support of the executive director’s academic, scholarly and professional activities. The Goyette Scholarship will assist the College of Human Sciences & Education in recruiting, retaining and graduating excellent graduate and first professional degree candidates and engaging post-doctoral fellows.
Diane Goyette is the founder and owner of Early Childhood Specialties, which provides teacher training, as well as tools and toys that build teaching and caregiving skills, expand knowledge of child development and early childhood education, and boost emotional intelligence and social skills of both adults and children.
“My mission through Early Childhood Specialties to support young children, their teachers and their families coincides with the work and mission of the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute,” Diane said. “It was serendipitous timing that Henry and I were looking for ways to support LSU just after the launching of the institute. Making a financial contribution to the institute is the perfect complement to my professional efforts to further the field of early childhood education, as it will help to ensure that Louisiana’s youngest children have a strong foundation for their future development. Their healthy start in life is vital to the future of our communities!”
As Louisiana’s flagship university, LSU’s work through the ECE Institute extends the impact of state-funded early childhood education programs, including the State of Louisiana’s recent historic investment in early childhood education. Focus areas of the ECE Institute are:
- Research: Providing an evidence-based focus on developing recommended practices in early childhood care and education for Louisiana and the nation by promoting discovery, curricula, programs and strategic partnerships, to include funding support
- Education: Providing accessible training and support of the early childhood workforce to implement recommended practices for the education and care of young children
- Advocacy: Speaking up on behalf of young children, their families and those working in the field of early care and education, for effective social policies that support the early years
ECE Institute Executive Director Cynthia DiCarlo said, “The Goyettes’ vision for the LSU Early Childhood Education Institute addresses the critical need for a highly educated early childhood workforce and ensures ongoing funding for the researchers and advocates who are best positioned to drive positive outcomes for our youngest Louisianans.”
DiCarlo, who also serves as the executive director of the LSU Early Childhood Education Laboratory Preschool and coordinator of the LSU Early Childhood Education Program, added, “Ongoing research is an important part of continuing high-quality early education because it is how we investigate promising approaches that lead to sustained growth. The Goyettes’ gift ensures that we will have access to transformative research funding for decades to come.”
Diane said, “Henry and I are pleased to be able to provide both an immediate and a planned gift to the Institute. It gives us immense satisfaction knowing our gifts are supporting the research, education and advocacy efforts of the institute, both now and well into the future. We are confident that our fund will help the institute’s visions become a reality, benefiting LSU, Louisiana’s young children and families and the early childhood education field. We are proud to support the institute’s important work.”
The LSU Early Childhood Education Institute is an umbrella organization within the LSU College of Human Sciences & Education to promote research and dissemination of recommended practices in early childhood care and education. The ECE Institute links LSU’s expertise in early childhood education with the critical need for a highly educated early childhood workforce of researchers and advocates to advance the profession of early care and education.
The Goyettes’ gift is part of the university’s $1.5 billion Fierce for the Future Campaign, the largest campaign for higher education in the history of Louisiana. Their investment also directly advances LSU’s Scholarship First Agenda and its commitment to providing pathways to higher learning, addressing critical problems through groundbreaking research and discovery, and bettering the lives of Louisiana citizens in every parish. LSU embraces the responsibility of ascending to its potential to elevate Louisiana for the benefit of all. Learn more about the Scholarship First Agenda at www.lsu.edu/president/priorities.