NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., June 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a three-year, $3 million campaign, Rutgers University has achieved a historic goal to establish a chair named in honor of prominent feminist Gloria Steinem.
The chair – a collaboration among Rutgers' Institute for Women's Leadership, School of Communication and Information and the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at the School of Arts and Sciences – will focus on the ways information technology and new media are reshaping culture.
"We know that new media are transforming our governance," Gloria Steinem said, "and also that they may be short on facts and context. I'm very proud that the late Alison Bernstein, a visionary scholar who directed Rutgers' Institute for Women's Leadership, committed this chair to inclusiveness and accuracy. I'm also proud that Rutgers is not only one of the oldest and most respected public universities, but has a student population that looks like the nation. I've come to believe it's as good as Harvard – with democracy added."
The Steinem chair, funded by more than 425 donors, including a dozen foundations and a matching pledge made possible by Rutgers President Robert Barchi, will immerse students in debate and scholarship about new media, social change and power structures.
"This chair is a testament to Gloria Steinem's distinguished career as a journalist, public intellectual and women's rights activist," said President Barchi. "The women's movement has radically changed how we think of issues concerning fairness and equity, and after 50 years, Gloria Steinem remains at the forefront of the feminist cause. I'm pleased and honored to affirm my personal support and congratulate those who led the effort to make the chair a reality."
The idea for the chair originated in 2014 with Bernstein, who became director of Rutgers' Institute for Women's Leadership in 2011. Despite Bernstein's untimely death from cancer in 2016, her quest to create the first academic position named for a preeminent living feminist grew into a shared mission.
Contributors included the Ford Foundation; the NoVo Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation; the George Lucas Family Foundation; Harvey Weinstein and the H. Weinstein Family Foundation; Frank A. Bennack Jr., executive vice chairman of the board, Hearst Corporation; Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook; and Mortimer Zuckerman, owner and publisher of the New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report.
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SOURCE Rutgers University