Manchester University President Dave McFadden announced today that the $1.5 million goal has been reached to establish the Gladdys Muir Endowed Professorship in Peace Studies.
Gladdys Muir launched the world's first undergraduate peace studies program at Manchester in 1948. Her groundbreaking program, which examined issues of interpersonal conflict and structural injustice, was so visionary that 23 years passed before another U.S. institution followed her lead.
“Muir believed that if she planted the seeds of creative nonviolence in the hearts of her students, that they would scatter those potent ideas across the globe. Indeed, over the years, many Manchester graduates have done just that,” McFadden said.
Because it is an endowed fund, the principal will remain invested, with the earnings intended to secure the professorship in perpetuity. The University will seek broad input to develop a job description and expects to launch a national search in the second half of 2016.
“An endowed professorship is a prestigious achievement for us and aligns closely with our strategic priorities,” McFadden said. “Peace studies is distinctively Manchester. This new position will encourage scholarship and effective teaching, and strengthen our ability to educate students across disciplinary boundaries. What’s more, it further enhances our reputation as a global leader in peace studies education.”
This milestone has been years in the making. A Peace Studies Advisory Council first recommended an endowed professorship in 1992. Major support came in 2002 from Lilly Endowment Inc., through its Plowshares program, followed by many individual gifts from alumni and friends.
In the closing days of December 2015 and with $46,000 to go toward the $1.5 million goal, an anonymous donor offered to match, dollar for dollar, year-end gifts up to $25,000. Through the generosity of many dedicated alumni and donors, members of the Office of Advancement reached the goal around 4:20 p.m. Dec. 31 — with 40 minutes to spare.
“Manchester is deeply grateful to all of those people — too numerous to name here — who nurtured the idea for this professorship. I would, however, like to extend a special thank you to my predecessor, Jo Young Switzer, for shepherding this vision throughout her presidency,” McFadden said.
Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., offers more than 60 areas of academic study to 1,500 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training and a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy. Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu.