By SAMANTHA SETO
Chair of the Board of Trustees Jeffrey H. Aronson, Class of 1980, has given the University a $10 million gift to fund a new international studies center.
The gift’s stated purpose is to encourage closer ties between the Homewood campus’ international studies program, an interndisciplinary department that offers diverse courses in history, political science, economics, sociology and art history, and the graduate program at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C.
The Aronson Center will provide funding to undergraduates who want to conduct research abroad both at the international SAIS campuses in Bologna, Italy and Nanjing, China and elsewhere.
The Center will also award summer travel grants to students, known as Aronson Scholars, who would like to study, intern, research abroad or acquire proficiency in a foreign language. In addition, there will be an Aronson Leadership Seminar Abroad taught in Bologna, Italy this spring.
For international studies majors, the center plans to create an International Studies Leadership Council, a student group that will connect with SAIS and attend events there. As the Center evolves and gains popularity, there are plans for new courses to be created for International Studies majors, including some co-listed or taught with SAIS.
Director of International Studies Sydney Van Morgan praised the goals of the center.
“The Aronson Center will complement the activities of the international studies program in many ways, most importantly by giving our majors new opportunities to benefit from the rich, academic resources at SAIS,” Van Morgan said.
The Center will also host the Global Affairs Lecture, an annual talk given by a major world leader, as well as meetings and a conference called the Brainstorming Workshop.
In addition, Aronson’s gift will create two new teaching positions: the Aronson Distinguished Professor and the Aronson Professor, who will split their time between D.C. and Baltimore, teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses. The professors will both be experts in international relations and will create new ways to better facilitate learning in the international studies program.
The gift also creates the Aronson Journal of International Studies, which will be an undergraduate global research publication that provide s undergraduate students with an opportunity to print their research in a formal setting.