What is an endowed chair or professorship?
It is the highest academic award that the University can bestow on a faculty member, and it lasts as long as the University exists. Thus, it is both an honor to the named holder of the appointment and also an enduring tribute to the donor who establishes it.
To The University
Endowed faculty professorships and chairs are crucial for recruiting and retaining the highest-quality faculty. The greatest institutions have the best minds, the most-creative researchers and the most-engaged teachers. Building a mighty base of faculty talent enriches the academic environment, which attracts the brightest students.
To The Professors
Recognizing the continued contributions of senior-level faculty as well as providing funds to push the frontiers of their scholarship are key functions of the endowed positions. The funds can propel research, help pay student workers or create opportunities for collaboration with scholars around the world.
To The Students
One professor or chair can touch hundreds of lives through the courses they teach, the students they mentor, or through their own academic work. Having endowed faculty means students get to rub elbows with the most talented scholars in the world. Students have the opportunity to work in research labs, for example. They do not learn only from textbooks, but from the real world of innovation and discovery.
To Businesses and Corporations
In a rapidly changing world, corporations realize the pace is often driven by the private sector, but much of the long-term thinking, basic research and most fundamental discoveries occur inside universities. Corporations support endowed chairs to give back to institutions that provide them with creative talent. The relationship also connects corporations with professors, researchers and students who can inspire innovation and creative ideas in a competitive environment.
To Private Donors
Donors provide funds for the overall improvement of the University, but some have personal interests in specific areas of study. By funding endowed chairs, donors can convene the brightest minds to focus on particular problems or issues and spur advances in those areas.