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Catholic studies chair endowed at UC

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

CATHEDRAL DEANERY — A chair in Catholic studies has been endowed at the University of Cincinnati, thanks to the generosity of Ruth and Robert Conway. The $2 milllion gift, given by the Ruth J. and Robert A. Conway Foundation to the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, will examine the secular role Catholicism has played in shaping many disciplines for more than 2,000 years.

At an event in celebration of the gift, UC’s interim president, Monica Rimai, thanked the Conways for their tremendous generosity during UC’s Proudly Cincinnati campaign, the most ambitious campaign in university history. The Conways’ gift supports one of the Proudly Cincinnati priorities, which is advancing great teaching.

Arts and Sciences Dean Valerie Hardcastle sees far-reaching potential for the gift.

“The Conways’ gift gives the opportunity to provide students with academic courses that will promote cultural understanding among various religious backgrounds,” she said. “In our ever-shrinking world, our students will need to understand and respect people from different cultures and religious backgrounds if they are to work collaboratively in moving our world forward.”

The Conways, who reside in Mount Lookout, envision opening a strong local and global dialogue with their gift, encouraging conversation in a range of disciplines, such as history, art, literature, political science, philosophy, classics, women’s studies, economics, sociology, geography and anthropology. They also hope the program will complement other humanities courses and programs that touch on religion and spirituality, including Judaic Studies, and enhance the futures of students who will live and work in an ever-growing and diverse global community.

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