Ukrainian Studies Endowment
Since achieving independence from the Soviet Union, Ukraine is taking her place in today’s world, with a population of 52 million in an area the size of Texas and a commensurate economic and cultural contribution to make both in Europe and farther afield. The same decade has seen the fourth wave of emigration from Ukraine, with thousands of Ukrainians now living in Washington State, and tens of thousands in the Pacific Northwest, which now has a particular potential for links with Ukraine: between, for example, Hanford and Chornobyl, Boeing and Antonov, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and St. Volodymyr’s Oncological Center.
The Ukrainian Studies Endowment began life in 1999, pooling the energy and organizational resources of the University, its alumni and the Ukrainian American community to achieve some shared aims: to keep the Ukrainian cultural heritage alive in the diaspora, and to foster mutually beneficial links between Ukraine and the United States, for which Ukrainian studies at the University of Washington can help prepare the way. The first major objective of the Endowment is to establish a lectureship in Ukrainian language; the ultimate goal is an endowed chair in Ukrainian Studies. The fundraising effort is jointly steered by Eugene Lemcio of Seattle Pacific University and James West of the UW Slavic Department, with a working group of community members, faculty and UW alumni. While growing to the level needed to endow a chair, the Fund will be used to support instruction in the Ukrainian language, development of courses, programs and activities in Ukrainian Studies, visiting scholars, public events, scholarships and fellowships, research and exchanges, and the training of pre-collegiate teachers in Ukrainian culture. To date, the working group has:
- Developed contact-lists of Ukrainian Americans with an interest in the Endowment, and local companies doing business with Ukraine.
- Produced a color brochure describing the goals of the Endowment, in English and Ukrainian versions.
- Contacted a variety of nationwide Ukrainian organizations in the U.S.A. and Canada, made them aware of the Endowment and its goals, and enlisted their help in disseminating publicity and appeals.
- Developed a Ukrainian Studies Endowment website which includes an online sign-up form for those interested in either making a donation or helping: http://depts.washington.edu/slavweb/ukrainian/index.html
- Through the Outreach Program of the Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies Center at the University of Washington, helped to organize a day-long workshop on Ukraine, its people and its culture, for secondary school teachers, especially those with recently immigrated Ukrainian children in their classes.
- Raised over $20,000, of which about half was used to support a full year of Ukrainian language teaching in the Slavic Department.
- Approached a number of potential major donors and opened discussions which we hope will lead to significant contributions to the Endowment.
University of Washington Polish Studies Endowment Committee
Who are we?
We are a group of volunteers dedicated to raising money to establish an Endowed Chair at the University of Washington and to bringing knowledge about Poland, its culture and language to students, faculty and staff of the UW, as well as to the community.
What have we done so far?
- In June 2005 proceeds from our successful UW PSEC auction, combined with previous donations, allowed us to establish the Polish Studies Endowment Fund at the University of Washington.
- We have created an incentive fund to attract Polish Fulbright Scholars, who have been enriching the Slavic Department’s course offerings since 2006.
- An private donation of Andrzej and Izabella Turski ensured continuation of our series of public lectures, the Distinguished Speakers Series, which every year brings experts on a variety of topics related to Polish culture, art, literature, economy, and politics to the UW campus.
- Since 2008 we have been awarding student scholarships to UW students who wish to pursue their studies in Poland.
The establishment of an Endowed Chair may be accomplished in steps. Now that an Endowment Fund has been instituted, our next far-reaching fundraising goal is to raise the sum of $250,000, which would provide funds for an Endowed Professorship. This amount would offer support for faculty, research, equipment, publication costs, and other professional activities, however, it would not yet assure the permanence of Polish Studies at the University.