Philanthropist Cindy Hensley McCain ’76 MA ’78 will join the USC Rossier School of Education’s Board of Councilors this fall. The 20-member board provides guidance, support and advocacy on behalf of USC Rossier.
“We are thrilled to have such a tremendous advocate for education and disadvantaged children join our board,” said USC Rossier dean Karen Symms Gallagher. “Mrs. McCain will be an important asset to the leadership of our school as we continue to grow and have even greater impact in improving urban education locally, nationally and globally.”
As a USC student, McCain participated in pilot programs testing Movement Therapy, now a widely accepted standard for working with severely disabled children. After she received her B.A. in education and M.A. in special education, McCain became a teacher at Agua Fria High School in Arizona, where she continued her work with disabled children.
McCain has been an advocate for children’s needs throughout her career. She founded the American Voluntary Medical Team, which provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children from 1988 to 1995 and led 55 medical missions to Third World and war-torn countries.
In February 2010, McCain was honored with the Dean’s Alumni Achievement Award at the USC Rossier Centennial Gala for her personal and philanthropic efforts to improve educational opportunities for children around the world. The Cindy Hensley McCain Global Educator Fellowship was established at that time. It is awarded to aspiring teachers facing global challenges in meeting the learning needs of children and youth.
“The education and experiences I gained at USC Rossier have been invaluable throughout my life,” McCain said. “It is an honor to be able to play a part in leading the school toward its mission of improving education for all children.”
In recent years, McCain, the wife of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has served on the board of trustees for the HALO Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to landmine removal and weapons destruction in war-torn countries, and she has traveled to numerous countries on its behalf, including Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique and Angola.
She also has traveled extensively on behalf of the World Food Programme and Operation Smile. McCain recently joined the board of the Eastern Congo Initiative and travels to Africa to raise awareness of the dangerous conditions facing women and children in the region.