John H. Cook Society

The John H. Cook Society honors donors who have contributed generously to the goals and enrichment of the School of Education at UNCG.

As the School of Education’s leadership giving society, these dedicated supporters are committed to our mission of being a vibrant and inclusive learning community embodying access, equity, diversity, cultural relevance, and collaboration in teaching, research, service, and community engagement.

The Cook Society honors donors with annual gifts of $1,000 or more. All gifts to the Society will be recognized in the School of Education Annual Report.

Members of the Cook Society will be invited to the annual Dean’s Dinner, special “behind the scenes” events, receptions and other events during the coming year.

For more information, please contact Terri Jackson, Director of Development.

About John H. Cook

John Harrison Cooke portrait photo

  • Served as the first Dean of the Department of Education from 1918 until his death by heart attack in 1941.
  • Born in Scioto County, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio Northern University (1908), Miami University, Oxford (1912) and Columbia University (1917 and 1925)
  • Began his career as a classroom teacher in rural Ohio, moved on to become principal, and then superintendent. He left his position as Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruction for the state of Ohio to come to UNCG.
  • Nominated, but declined to run, as the GOP nominee for State Superintendent of Education in 1936.
  • Spoke publicly that a married woman — even a woman with children — should be able to continue working. This came at a time when many thought a woman should stop teaching/working when she married, Cooke spoke to the Civitan Club in 1936 saying, “let a woman go ahead and marry and have one or two children if she cares to; then she is all the better prepared to work with children of others.”
  • Served as a strong advocate for a teachers’ retirement system in North Carolina. A law establishing the teachers’ retirement system passed just after his death.
  • Volunteered actively in his community, including as a member of West Market Street Methodist Church and past president of the Greensboro Civitan Club.
  • Advocated extensively on teacher welfare. He also published a study on mill schools in North Carolina.
  • Worked to organize the teachers across the state politically, speaking out for benefits and tenure for public school teachers.