Philip H. Gordon (May 22, 1922 – November 12, 2014)
Throughout his life, Phil was passionate about issues related to social justice, education and opportunity. In the 1960’s, Phil got involved in the Civil Rights movement, delivering two truckloads of supplies to Mississippi, where his niece Judy Frieze Wright had been jailed as a Freedom Rider and later worked during Freedom Summer. Together with his wife Sandy, he was an active philanthropist, served on boards and played a vital role in organizations including Facing History & Ourselves, Boston Arts Academy and Bard College. In 2002, he co-founded EdVestors, a Boston-based nonprofit focused on urban school improvement, where he served as founding board chair and remained active with the organization until his death.
Phil was deeply committed to making a difference for children and he saw education as the key to a better world. As he said in 2013, “When I retired, I wanted to do something that would make a difference. I wanted to do something for the children who need a champion – in their education and for their futures. I believed that philanthropy could be a way to do that. EdVestors brings those two together: harnessing philanthropy to help improve urban schools for children. The future of these students is too important to leave to others. We must all get involved.”
Under Phil’s leadership, EdVestors grew into a dynamic school change organization that has raised and targeted more than $18 million in philanthropic donations to improve urban schools and has become the driving force behind multiple reform initiatives to level the playing field of opportunity and achievement for Boston’s students.
Phil reminded us regularly that equity in education is essential and that it is our responsibility to do whatever it takes to provide every child in every school with a quality education. Our organization, our schools, and our city are immeasurably stronger thanks to Phil’s vision and unwavering support.
Gifts in memory of Phil can be made to the Philip H. Gordon Legacy Fund.