History of the Fred Rogers Institute

It has been decades since Mister Rogers first looked into the camera and asked us to be his neighbor, but time has not diminished the impact of his legacy. Fred knew something very important about children and about all of us - that we all have something special to give. 

At the Fred Rogers Institute at Saint Vincent College, we carry forward a legacy that taught us to cherish childhood and respect the “something special” each adult has to bring to the life of a child. Planned under Fred’s guidance and established in 2003 at Saint Vincent College near his hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the Fred Rogers Institute is the single most authoritative resource for studying Fred Rogers’ legacy.

Fred Rogers established the Institute with the goals of working with current professionals to support their practice in the service of children and families, researchers looking to deepen their understanding of the important issues facing children, and students of the college who aspired to serve children and their helpers. All of this important work begins with the Fred Rogers Archive. Inside the Fred Rogers Archive you will find Daniel Striped Tiger, a familiar red sweater, and more than 22,000 other items that paint the story of who Fred was and how he brought his deep respect and care for children to the world. The handwritten notes, scripts, speeches, and other writings give us incredible insight into a legacy that has impacted generations. The Archive is a living resource, with continuous visits from researchers, educators, journalists, and students seeking to be inspired and guided by Fred’s work.

In 2022, we became the Fred Rogers Institute after being known as the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. Our new name gives greater clarity to our work and focus as an institute for ongoing learning and growing, focused on adults who serve children. 

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Your financial support of the Institute helps us expand our initiatives and resources so that educators and children's helpers can continue to learn and grow from Fred Rogers' legacy. Thank you!