A little more than a year after launching a campaign to create an endowed chair in honor of modern American feminist Gloria Steinem, Rutgers University officials announced they have surpassed the $2 million mark in donations.
The funds, totaling $2.1 million from more than 250 individuals and 12 foundations, put the university two thirds closer toward the $3 million required to finance the Gloria Steinem Endowed Chair in Media, Culture, and Feminist Studies.
The chair, a unique collaboration among Rutgers’ Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL), School of Communication and Information (SCI) and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences, will focus on the creative and complex ways information technology and new media are reshaping culture and power relationships.
“Gloria’s birthday is at the end of March 2016, and that is a real milestone. Our goal is to raise the remaining $900,000 so that we can announce that the chair is fully endowed on or before that special day,” said Alison R. Bernstein, director of the IWL, who proposed the idea of a Gloria Steinem chair at Rutgers.
Typically, endowed chairs are named after a single donor, but it is particularly important, Bernstein said, that hundreds will finance this chair, the first of its kind.
“Never before has a chair been named for a feminist icon who is still alive,” Bernstein said. “That more than 250 people have contributed shows they buy into and engage with the values and legacy of Steinem.”