Department ofHistory

Announcement of Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies

At the Board of Regents meeting on January 22, 2010, it was announced that new gifts in support of the Kurt Mayer Professorship in HolocaustStudies have pushed that endowment total beyond $2 million, creating the third endowed chair at PLU. This new chair again secures the university's position as one of the premier centers for Holocaust studies in the nation.

Extensive contributions from a group of initial donors --Kurt and Pam Mayer, Joe and Gloria Mayer, Natalie Mayer-Yeager, Nancy Powell, Carol Powell Heller and Harry Heller -- plus support from Dale and Jolita Benson (both PLU class of 1963) and other new gifts brought the endowment to the chair level of $2 million.

Robert P. Ericksen, '67, PLU professor of history and an internationally recognized Holocaust scholar, received the inaugural appointment to the Kurt Mayer Professorship in Holocaust Studies. Ericksen will now continue to hold the Kurt Mayer Chair in Holocaust Studies.

The additional funding will supplement the salary for the holder of the Mayer Chair, research and travel related to scholarship, enhanced library resources, student-faculty research fellowship opportunities, coordination of the annual Lemkin Student Essay Contest and the Lemkin Lecture.

Funds also will support the annual Powell and Heller Family Conference on Holocaust Education, which brings international scholars on the Holocaust and related genocide issues to campus. This year's conference will be held March 18-20.