Media release

2023 Murray Family Prize honors Dan Corley for community leadership

$50,000 prize is in recognition of his long leadership of the Community Preparatory School

The 2023 Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment at the Rhode Island Foundation has been awarded to Dan Corley, founder and Head of School of the Community Preparatory School in Providence.

“Dan’s long commitment to promoting the educational success of children from diverse backgrounds is a remarkable standard for others to aspire to. We take enormous pride in recognizing him for his foresight and dedication,” said Paula McNamara, daughter of Terrence and Suzanne Murray, who along with her family established the Murray Family Prize for Community Enrichment at the Foundation.

Corley founded Community Prep in 1984 with a first-year enrollment of 25 students. Since that time, the school has served nearly 1,000 students in grades 4-8 with a rigorous education designed to create opportunities for success.

“Our students are challenged to become confident, independent learners and to develop a true sense of community while at our school. Many have become wonderful citizens who take this sense of community and justice into their lives,” said Corley. “I thank the Murray family for honoring all that our students, alumni, families, faculty, staff, trustees, volunteers, and visitors have achieved.”

Ninety-seven percent of the school's graduates have been accepted into college preparatory high school programs, and 83 percent are attending or have graduated from college.

“The ideal that guides our school is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of the ‘Beloved Community’ – widely different groups of people bound together with love and respect, working toward a just society, and understanding that differences are strengths,” said Corley.

Previously, he served as a VISTA volunteer and a teacher at Ocean Tides School in Narragansett. He is a graduate of Brown University.

“There are many Rhode Islanders like Dan, who are working faithfully and quietly to improve the lives of those around them. We applaud the Murray family for partnering with us to bring their inspiring stories to light,” said David N. Cicilline, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation.

The Murray Family Prize was launched in 2017. Recent recipients include Joe Garlick, executive director of NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley; Eileen Hayes, executive director of Amos House; Mario Bueno, executive director of Progreso Latino; and Kate Brewster, executive director of the Jonnycake Center for Hope in South Kingstown.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Through civic leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.