The University of Aberdeen's success in securing $1.85million funding has been highlighted in the Scottish Parliament. North-east MSP Dr Nanette Milne has put forward the following motion:
S2M-1067 Mrs Nanette Milne: Congratulations to the University of Aberdeen on $1.85 million Gift
"That the Parliament congratulates the University of Aberdeen on securing what is believed to be the single largest gift committed by an American fund to the study of humanities within a Scottish institution"; notes that the $1.85 million gift will fund what is to be known as the Glucksman Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies; recognises that the university's Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies is the first of its kind in the world for graduate study and research on the history, language, literature and culture of Ireland and Scotland and one of the largest concentrations of Scottish or Irish expertise in any European university, and notes that the first holder of the new chair will be Professor Tom Devine, University Research Professor in Scottish history and Director of the Arts and Humanities Research Board Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Aberdeen.
The motion has been supported by fellow MSPs: Mr David Davidson, Robert Brown, Mr Jamie Stone, Rob Gibson, Murray Tosh, Ms Sandra White, Alex Johnstone, Brian Adam, Robin Harper, David Mundell, Eleanor Scott, Shiona Baird, Donald Gorrie, Alex Neil, Mr Ted Brocklebank, Richard Lochhead, Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Mrs Margaret Ewing, Fiona Hyslop, Phil Gallie, John Scott, Dr Jean Turner.
University celebrates St Patrick's Day with $1.85million gift
St Patrick's Day (2004) will mark a significant occasion in the University of Aberdeen's history when it celebrates the donation of one of the largest individual endowments gifted to the Institution.
The American Ireland Fund has committed $1.85 million to the University's Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies (RIISS), made possible by a gift from Lewis L and Loretta Brennan Glucksman. This is believed to be the largest sum of money committed by an American fund to the study of humanities within a Scottish institution.
The generous gift will fund the Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies – which will be known as the Glucksman Chair of Irish and Scottish Studies. RIISS is the first of its kind for graduate study and research on the history, language, literature and culture of Ireland and Scotland in the world and one of the largest concentrations of Scottish and Irish expertise in any university in Europe.
Loretta Brennan Glucksman is the National Chairman of the American Ireland Fund and, together with her husband Lewis L Glucksman, is a noted philanthropist. Among the many projects they have supported are the Glucksman Ireland House, a centre for Irish and Irish-American studies at New York University, and a number of university library projects in Ireland.
The gift forms part of the University of Aberdeen's ambitious Sixth Century fundraising campaign. Launched in 1999, the initial target was to raise £40million by the end of 2002; that barrier was passed with £47million raised by December 2002. The second phase of the campaign will be launched later this year.
The Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies (RIISS)
The Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies (RIISS) was inaugurated by Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, on St Andrew's Day 1999 to develop interdisciplinary and co-operative programmes in Irish and Scottish Studies. The Institute builds on established and distinguished Irish and Scottish Studies in the University, particularly in the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, and the School of Language and Literature, and has developed a flourishing Masters programme in Irish and Scottish Studies.
In 1999, the Institute secured a grant of almost £900, 000 over five years from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (AHRB) to develop an Aberdeen-based Research Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies in partnership with Trinity College, Dublin and the Queen's University of Belfast. The £900,000 funding was believed to be, at that date, the largest single sum in Scotland's academic history to have been awarded to the study of humanities.