WHO IS UNITE FOR COMMON GOOD?
Unite for Common Good (UCG) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in Denver, CO, formed for the purpose of promoting the ethical character development of children and youth. Epic Ethics is a program offered through UCG, providing literacy-based curriculum for elementary school children based on a simple and time-honored ethical framework.
WHAT IS THE DANIELS FUND ETHICS INITIATIVE?
The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative delivers principle-based ethics education, and reinforces the value of ethical business and personal conduct. Each of the Ethics Initiative’s eight programs, including the Elementary School Program (aka Epic Ethics), utilizes a specific approach to reach its target audience. Funding for Ethics Initiative programs is provided through the Daniels Fund Grants Program.
The Daniels Fund is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program and ethics initiative. Daniels Fund continues the legacy of generosity established by its founder, Bill Daniels, a cable television pioneer known for his compassion for those in need and his unwavering commitment to ethics and integrity. Learn more at DanielsFund.org.
The purpose of Epic Ethics for Peaceful Schools is to promote ethical character formation and social-emotional learning in children and youth. The vision is a world in which all children develop social skills and character habits to live well and work toward a safe, respectful and compassionate world.
To fulfill this purpose and vision, Epic Ethics for Peaceful Schools supports elementary schools with a literacy-based curriculum that teaches skills of self-awareness, self-management, empathetic relationship formation, and habits of ethical decision-making based on a simple, comprehensive, and time-honored ethical framework.
Board of Directors
Dr. Larry Donnithorne
Dr. Donnithorne's years of military service after West Point led him initially into assignments as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in both Vietnam and Korea. In Vietnam, he was the commander of a unit of 150 engineer soldiers who experienced combat situations multiple times. Brigadier General Willard Roper described him as “one of the most outstanding engineer combat company commanders in Vietnam.” He was later assigned to peacetime service in Korea. Dr. Donnithorne’s military service then shifted into education with an appointment to teach at West Point. There he taught three disciplines: moral philosophy, economics, and psychology of leadership. In his final assignment, he assisted the West Point Superintendent in significant reforms to the academy’s leadership development programs.
Based on that work, he authored a book titled The West Point Way of Leadership: From Learning Principled Leadership to Practicing It, published by Doubleday (now Random House Books). A book review appearing in the Harvard Business Review concluded that “the West Point model of leadership is a fascinating and insightful one, one that Donnithorne presents modestly, carefully, and convincingly.... The philosophy that underlies it ... is based on moral principle, timeless values, and the leader’s selfless commitment to others.”
Following his military service, Dr. Donnithorne served as president of two colleges, first in North Carolina and then Colorado. Upon retiring from higher education, he was invited to make numerous trips to China, teaching West Point-inspired ethical leadership to hundreds of Chinese audiences in more than 25 different Chinese cities.
Dr. Donnithorne has been married since 1969 to Fran, and they have four adult children and four grandchildren. He enjoys the Colorado mountains for hiking in summer and snowboarding in winter and is an avid reader in all seasons.
Mike is a third generation Rotarian and joined the Denver Southeast Club in January of 2004. He is currently serving as Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator (ARRFC), and Paul Harris Society Chair for Zone 27. He was the past District Governor for 5450 in 2012-2013. He has served in a number of other capacities since joining Rotary, including Fund Raising Chairman, Club President 2007-2008, and Assistant Governor for Area 2 for District 5450. When he first joined Denver Southeast he assisted in the launch of the Club’s clean water project in the Kibera slum of Nairobi (Denver’s Sister City) in partnership with the Rotary Club of Langata. The project received a 3-H grant from Rotary International in 2006 and has been recognized for its collaborative approach. His club received the Scott Metcalf Award for Outstanding New Project, and the George K. Davis Award for District 5450 Water Project. He was awarded Rotarian of the Year by his club in 2006 and received the Rotary International District 5450 Governor’s Discretionary Award in 2005-2006. He also assisted in equipping Sunrise Orphanage with 200 computers for an “e” Learning Lab. Mike is a founding member of District 5450’s Water Task Force.
He has two children, Matt and Ashley. Mike is a Major Donor to Rotary Foundation, Bequest Society, Paul Harris Society. Matt and Ashley are Paul Harris Fellows and have traveled with Mike to Africa to work in Kibera on a water and sanitation project for 250,000 people, and a Computer lab in Rwanda, were we provided computers and set the learning labs for 200 students.
Since initiating his career as an educator teaching theater arts and outdoor education, Ron has focused on multilingual environments, literacy development, cultural and environmental sustainability, horticulture and natural play. He aided the Holistic Education Design company, Originateve, in founding studio-schools and developing innovative English acquisition models in Denver, Costa Rica, and China. A special emphasis for Ron is using music and storytelling to reach academic and emotional gains in conventional environments. Ron researches and publishes on the benefits of play therapy, and nature therapy and instructs outdoor education, academics and social emotional learning through ethnobotanical, and indigenous wisdom lenses.
As Executive Director of Epic Ethics for Peaceful Schools, Ron is excited to bring his diverse background to the current challenges and opportunities of improving Social and Emotional Learning for youth at home and around the world.