University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Commencement

Judith Buechner

Honorary Degree Recipient

Letitia C. Biddle
Doctor of Laws

Letitia BiddleLetitia C. Biddle, UVM Class of 1983, is the executive director and founder of the Churchill Institute for Leadership Development (CHILD), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing school leaders with best practices in leadership, management and curriculum. The organization has a special focus on improving schools in economically disadvantaged communities.

Biddle, who graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor's degree in elementary and special education, founded the institute after working to reestablish the Gesu School in Philadelphia, the only independent, Jesuit/Immaculate Heart of Mary, inner-city elementary school in the United States. When the Gesu parish was forced to dissolve in 1993 due to financial hardship and urban deterioration, Biddle was one of several who worked to keep the parish school open independently. The Gesu School survived and has become a model for inner-city schooling nationwide via Biddle's foundation (previously named the Gesu Institute). CHILD strives to help schools set visionary goals and meet them in the context of a sustainable future.

Biddle, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has taught in the Philadelphia public schools and privately tutored children with learning disabilities. In 2006, she co-founded The Academy in Manayunk, a school for children with moderate to severe learning disabilities. The academy provides rigorous learning opportunities for children grades 1-12 with language-based learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.

Biddle serves as a member of the Catholic Partnership School board of directors and the Gesu Scholarship Fund. She previously served on the board of the Andalusia Foundation, a museum dedicated to the preservation of one of America's foremost Greek revival manor houses, its furnishings, art and property on the Delaware River in Pennsylvania.

Biddle is also the former chair of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education (AAYTE), an organization that helps provide opportunities for children, many of whom are from under-served, at-risk, and multicultural populations. She launched the capital campaign to build the $12 million dollar AAYTE complex in East Falls, Pennsylvania and worked to incorporate "Reading Is Fundamental" into the program.

Last modified April 23 2011 07:00 AM

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