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$50 Million Pledge to Fund Professorships

December 10, 2009 12:00 PM
Mike Strecker mstreck@tulane.edu

Tulane University has received a $50 million pledge from the Weatherhead Foundation to establish several University Professorships, a special designation for professors who have achieved outstanding accomplishments and made significant contributions as artists, researchers or scholars.


The Weatherhead Foundation gift will help Tulane "build one of the nation's best faculty. This, in turn, will help us attract the very best students," said Tulane President Scott Cowen. (Photo by Sally Asher)

Professors who receive the title of Weatherhead University Professor at Tulane will be given wide latitude in arranging their teaching schedules in order to devote the necessary energy to creative enterprises, research and scholarship.

Professors from any school or discipline at Tulane will be eligible for the appointment, including new faculty members. The appointments will be made by the president of the university and the Board of Tulane, based upon recommendations from the provost and the faculty.

"This fund will reward faculty achievement," said Albert J. Weatherhead III, "whether it has resulted in new technologies in science or engineering, trend-setting visual or performing arts, novel medical therapies, transformative reinterpretations of ideas or wholly new professional agendas in architecture, business, law or social work."

Weatherhead and his wife, Celia, a graduate of Newcomb College at Tulane and a member of the Board of Tulane, oversee the Weatherhead Foundation, an Ohio-based family organization that has generously supported higher education, including Tulane, for decades.

Several of the nation's leading universities have positions similar to Weatherhead University Professors, according to Tulane University President Scott Cowen. The foundation's gift will establish a permanent endowment at Tulane funding University Professorships for years to come.

"This gift will be transformative for Tulane as we continue to recognize and encourage exceptional scholarly achievement and civic engagement, and build one of the nation's best faculty," Cowen said. "Most importantly, the funding will advance knowledge, creativity, technology and engaged citizenship for the benefit of all. We are extremely grateful for this gift and the faith the Weatherheads have shown in giving it to us."