The Institute of Global Education (IGE) had its beginnings in the values and activities of Dr. F. Richard Schneider, his wife, the former Ruth Ann Eddy, and the families from which they came and that they created. What is now called IGE was founded in 1980 by Richard, Ruth and their three children, Debra, Mark and Gary, as a non-profit organization. In March of 1984, the United States Internal Revenue Service granted IGE tax exempt status, and in June of 1998 the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted IGE “Special Consultative Status”.
The work of IGE has always been education with a worldwide perspective. Beginning in North America, IGE offered workshops and courses, and hosted four international aboriginal conferences. In 1986, IGE expanded its efforts to a worldwide stage by establishing Radio for Peace International through an agreement with the United Nations University for Peace http://www.upeace.org/ in Costa Rica. Programming included news from around the world, formal courses and general education. Conferences and interviews of people like the Dalai Lama were covered live and broadcast directly.
In 1992 IGE established the Mucherla Global School in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh and soon also began assisting numerous surrounding villages in Andhra Pradesh. IGE’s current Indian Student Scholarship Program was created in 2003 to further the education of former Mucherla Global School students by assisting them to obtain college and university degrees. In 2010, IGE extended its work to Northeast India by joining with other educational organizations to form the Meghalaya Global Peace Consortium to promote peace and community development in the region.
Richard Schneider and Ruth Eddy were born and raised in rural areas of the United States, Richard on a Michigan farm in 1935, Ruth in a small, Iowa town in 1930. From their families, school and church mentors, both learned to work hard, think independently and to care for others as well as themselves. They met in 1957 and married in 1958 after they had graduated from college and had several years of professional activities, Ruth as a teacher and Richard in social work. Along the way, Richard began writing poetry for which he has won numerous awards.
Following their marriage, Richard and Ruth were partners as husband and wife raising a family and as colleagues serving the needs of numerous aboriginal and non-aboriginal groups. Richard earned a Master of Social Work and held increasingly significant professional and administrative positions in a number of states including Wisconsin, Kentucky, Alaska and Oregon. Ruth bore two children and, with Richard, adopted three while also serving numerous communities as dietician, teacher and in other capacities, sometimes as a volunteer.
Early in their careers, Richard and Ruth began participating in peace, poverty and education conferences and projects around the world, creating a network of like-minded people that would assist them throughout their work. During this period both Richard and Ruth developed their professional and personal capacities for service and evolved a deep commitment to the furtherance of peace through education.
The work of IGE has always been education with a worldwide perspective. However, the geographic focus of the work has gone through three phases that overlap in time. From 1982 to 1992 there was considerable emphasis on North America. In 1986, IGE extended its educational efforts worldwide through working with the United Nations and creating Radio for Peace International. In 1992, IGE began major work in India, beginning in the village of Mucherla then expanding to surrounding villages, the northeastern region and elsewhere.
The changes in geographic scope have been accompanied by several name changes. At its inception, in 1980, what is now the Institute of Global Education was incorporated as Sunrise New Life and Living. In 1984, due to an emphasis on global and peace education issues, the name was changed to World Peace University. Then, in 1993, as the educational work broadened to include more than peace education, the name became University of Global Education and, finally, in 1995, the Institute of Global Education. Throughout this website, the name used for all these activities is the Institute of Global Education.
On March 13, 1982, The Schneider family formed the Institute of Global Education. In 1983, they began hosting workshops. As momentum grew, they offered workshops and courses around North America. In 1984, IGE broadened its Board of Directors to include non-family members with expertise in IGE’s areas of interest. On March 3, 1984, the Internal Revenue Service granted IGE 501 c (3) status as a charitable, non-profit organization.
IGE offered numerous workshops by well-known thinkers and activists, such as Barbara Marx Hubbard and Dr. Wayne Dyer. IGE organized four international conferences on aboriginal issues. The first two, titled Peace and the Planet I and II, were held in Eugene, Oregon in 1990 and 1991 and featured actor Dennis Weaver, Ambassador Karan Singh of India and Sri Chinmoy. The third conference, Native Wisdom, Native Rights, and Mother Earth, in 1991 and also in Eugene, Oregon, was attended by leading Aboriginal chiefs and shamans from numerous countries and Elsa Stamatopoulou, Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights of the UN.
In 1998, at the request of many aboriginal people around the world, IGE hosted a fourth conference on indigenous affairs, Belonging to Mother Earth, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Participants included 3,000 aboriginal and non-aboriginal people from around the world attended, 54 leading Shamans and Chiefs and many outstanding non-indigenous leaders.
In addition to hosting workshops, courses and conferences, Richard and Ruth continued to participate in numerous peace and education retreats, conferences and projects, worldwide. Through these opportunities, they extended their network of individuals working toward abundance through peace and education.