This news – actually it’s so old it can’t be called news – was just brought to my attention via the Masonic Library and Museum Association. Bravo Grand Lodge of Oklahoma!
Masonic Charity Foundation’s $500,000 gift to create gender studies chair at OSU
Gift to focus on role men play in enhancing society
(STILLWATER, Ok. July 16, 2008) – Oklahoma State University announced today a $500,000 gift from the Masonic Charity Foundation of Oklahoma (MCFO) to create a chair in gender studies at OSU. Once fully matched dollar-for-dollar by T. Boone Pickens’ $100 million chair match commitment, as well as the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, the gift will have the impact of $2 million in endowed funds.
The gift will create the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma Gender Studies Chair, which will be housed within the College of Arts & Sciences.
“The response from our alumni and friends has exceeded our wildest expectations and we applaud the Masons’ on this generous gift,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “We sincerely appreciate what the Masonic Fraternity is doing for OSU academics and research.”
In order to take full advantage of the state’s dollar-for-dollar match, and make the most significant impact on OSU academics, MCFO made the gift prior to the July 1 change in the state’s endowed chair matching program. This gift is part of the $66.8 million in endowed faculty gifts OSU announced recently.
The interest of the Masonic Fraternity lies in academic disciplines like sociology, psychology, history, and philosophy aimed at researching the importance of men and the role men play in enhancing the stability of family and social life, as well as the economic and social progress of society. (Emphasis added by Magpie.)
“Our fraternal society is first and foremost the study of men and manhood,” said Robert G. Davis, MCFO board member. “There are few academic studies which have focused on the role gender-specific organizations have played in enhancing the physical, social and psychological health of individuals.”
Davis continued, “Our hope is that this partnership with OSU will enhance family, social and community life through gender studies aimed at focusing on the needs of men, the ideals of manhood and a higher awareness of the importance of men in society.”
Endowed professorships and chairs are academic designations which provide support for faculty salary, graduate assistantships, equipment and research needs, as well as other support. These endowed faculty positions allow a university to attract and retain the best and the brightest academic minds in the world.