Colgate University Announces Creation of Four New Endowed Chairs

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Colgate University has announced the creation of four new endowed chairs, approved by the Board of Trustees during its January 2022 meeting, all made possible due to the generosity of Colgate alumni. 

Following the Third-Century Plan’s call to provide increased support for faculty, Colgate will add more than 20 new endowed chairs in the years ahead. The addition of new endowed chairs will allow the University to attract and retain outstanding teacher-scholars and to support emerging academic initiatives. It will also bring Colgate’s number of endowed chairs in line with the nation’s leading colleges and universities. Since the Plan’s inception, 10 new endowed chairs have been funded.

Being named to an endowed chair is one of the highest honors available to a faculty member. The endowment that allows for the creation of a new chair ensures, in perpetuity, the faculty position and the academic fields represented in the chair’s designation. Currently, Colgate has 47 endowed chairs. 

The four new chairs are:

The Himoff Family Chair in Legacies

Established by James E. ’65 and Margaret Sue Himoff P’95, this is a permanent endowment fund created to recognize a member of the faculty who, through their excellence in teaching our students and through their scholarship, reveals important lessons from the past for our understanding of the present — and the possibilities for a caring, humane community in the future. By highlighting learning through informed action, the chairholder helps students to take responsibility for their actions and understand their purpose to become forces for positive change in their communities.

The Sweet Family Chair

Established by Andrew W. Sweet ’93, this permanent endowment fund will recognize excellence in teaching and scholarly achievements and support a Colgate faculty member’s continued scholarly development. Holders of the chair will engage in new areas of intellectual inquiry through sustained immersion into knowledge beyond their current discipline. Their academic and scholarly transformation will be demonstrated through curricular and programmatic innovation, and they will be encouraged to develop new courses within all University programs, including the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, and explore new pedagogical approaches also to be shared with the Colgate faculty.

The Hurley Family Chair in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Decision Making

Established by Becky ’81 and Christopher Hurley ’81, P’12,’12, this is a permanent endowment fund created to recognize one or more Colgate faculty members who serve as leaders in strengthening dialogue and deliberation in the Colgate community. Recognizing the importance of education in democracy, the chairholder supports a climate of debate and deliberation that is open and robust; that does not suppress ideas because some consider them wrong, immoral, or offensive; and that helps give students the power to summon reason, to gather facts, and to encourage discourse that is sound, fair, and powerful. The chairholder models to our scholarly community the importance of careful and responsive listening and routes of moving conversations forward in positive ways. Through scholarship and teaching, the chairholder promotes habits of mind that are necessary for productive and civil speech and deliberative decision-making both within the Colgate community and in our democratic society.

Nora Gleason Leary ’82 and Robert G. Leary Chair in Environmental Studies

Established by the Gleason-Leary Foundation, this is a permanent endowment fund created to recognize teaching excellence and scholarly achievements in the study of the environment and sustainability. 

Endowed chairs recognize Colgate faculty for their academic achievement and distinguished teaching, providing chairholders with dedicated funds to enhance their research and teaching efforts.

“We are grateful for the generosity of our alumni and their continued support for excellence in teaching and research,” says Ellen Percy Kraly, interim provost and dean of faculty and holder of one of two of the William R. Kenan Jr. Chairs awarded to Colgate in 1972. “Named chairs are the highest honor awarded to faculty by the University, and I am extremely proud of Colgate’s commitment to celebrating the accomplishments and contributions my colleagues make to our university community.”